As we approach Thanksgiving it is the perfect time to put into words how thankful I am for the RESPECT board, staff, donors, and volunteers – including all who take the time to read our newsletter!

It is not necessary to be a psychologist to know that change is hard. Even changes that are happily anticipated can add stress and pressure to life. It is fair to say that many of us have experienced many changes in the last year or two. This includes those of us at RESPECT and people with whom we share programs, mostly students. It has been a challenging time.

The entire RESPECT staff has worked harder and longer than ever before to share their time, talents, and creative and intellectual resources to keep RESPECT programs accessible, timely, interactive and to provide our audiences with unique and meaningful ways to learn skills that will help them navigate the most stressful and challenging of relationships with other people. They have done an outstanding job. The support from the RESPECT board and our very generous donors has been invaluable for these efforts. I am truly thankful to for all of them and to be part of the RESPECT team.

Through challenges has come learning and new insight as to how to reach out to as many people as possible through theatre via distance learning. New plays; enhanced and more intensely focused goals and objectives; increased uses of technology; costumes and props; virtual resources for teacher supports; collaborative relationships with authors to share stories for students to reinforce our plays and learning about emotions and relationships; a recorded “field trip”  to teach students about the Boys Town Hot Line and how to use it for support; a new online Resource Guide; reaching out for new funding and grants; learning new ways to perform, ask questions, moderate, facilitate, role play, model, build relationships, share. RESPECT has managed to do all of this. Live theatre OR Live theatre through virtual performances and interactions with our actor educators. I am proud AND thankful!

I am thankful to work with RESPECT – an organization full of capable and caring people who are committed to helping make the world a safer and happier place by giving young people opportunities to have conversations with each other and to learn ways to have relationships in their lives that are happy and fulfilling.

My thanks to you all!

Dr. Newman