Breakfast Club Blog

What is advocacy, why does it matter, and how can you make a difference in just 10 minutes from your desk?

Why does advocacy matter? Did you know that 1 out of 3 students in California can’t identify a single caring adult at school? [1] Research shows that access to caring adults is critical for the development and success of youth, and expanded learning programs often provide these relationships that students depend on. [2] Advocating for these programs increases access to caring adults and safe spaces in and out of school that are necessary to support student success. In 2015 and 2016, the Partners...Read More

Santa Baby! Crafts, Resources, Volunteerism and Hugs!

It’s that time of year again… the last of the pumpkin spice lattes are being served and the air is filled with peppermint everything at the local coffee shops. There’s an added pep in every step, smiles are shared amongst strangers, and you are determined to sing “Santa Baby” better than ever. It’s my favorite part of the year! Creativity at school sites is at an all-time high and program coordinators are excited about the different activities that will surely outshine everyone else’s. Ser...Read More

A Holiday Invitation, Highs and Lows: What Will You Choose?

Happy December! It’s the season of holidays for many of us, though I know not all.   I embrace the holiday season, and Christmas is my holiday. I love it all—the lights, the trees, the presents, the magic. I love that the first snowfall usually comes during this season. I love the opportunity for gathering with people to enjoy eating, drinking, and merriment. I love that I have a fireplace and can light a cozy fire during this season. I love the Christmas music playing in the background (fo...Read More

An Instant Activity Blueprint to Get All Kids Moving

It’s a fact. Kids need physical activity. Frequent physical activity has been linked to a variety of positive developmental outcomes for kids, including improved health, cognition, and even behavior. As “fitness mentors” it’s important we provide kids ample opportunities to be active throughout the day. While this sounds good in theory, the time, space, and equipment we have available to inspire kids to be active may be limited. Not to mention, we can quickly run out of ideas as little bodies an...Read More

Meet the BLT: Heather Williams

Heather Williams Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, California Department of Education, Expanded Learning Division, Sacramento, CA Who or what inspires you? I’m inspired by many things, but if I’m particularly seeking inspiration there are a few places I go look. One is reading. Whether fiction, non-fiction, books, articles, research, in the information age and particularly with the internet, we have so much reading material at our fingertips. It doesn’t take long before I can ...Read More

4 Tips to Cultivating Leaders in Your Organization

The singular most important role of today’s leader is growing those around them. This is not just a lofty goal, but one of intentional thought and commitment. I view nurturing those around me as a benefit not only to our organization but also as a way to develop skills that will lead to success in any organization. Gasp! Yes, I believe it is my duty to shape leaders who may someday join a competing organization. So, where to begin? Leadership development is offered for many reasons. Poor company...Read More

Collaboration, Gratitude and Birds (Yeah, Birds!)

As we enter the holiday season, I’m thankful to be coming up on my 10th year at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. As Director of Community Partnerships, I have the unique pleasure of cultivating relationships to engage communities in promoting children’s health. For this article, I wanted to share three collaborations that I am particularly excited about – each with resources I hope you can use to bring wellness to life in out-of-school time while engaging families and empowering children...Read More

The Flawed Leader… Follow Up 6 Months Later

Social Power is defined as the degree of influence that an individual or organization has among their peers and within their society as a whole. 6 months ago, I shared in this blog my challenges with my own leadership and that of the organization I started and grew over the past 15 years. I poured out on the table the comments my staff made in relation to my leadership flaws, and the ways I needed to be better for my team. Since then I have openly spoken in three different states in front of lar...Read More

Meet the BLT: Amira Resnick

Amira Resnick Healthy Communities/Strategic Partnerships Manager, California, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Los Angeles, CA Who or what inspires you? Last year I visited OST sites to share and demonstrate physical activity games that get youth and staff moving (literally and figuratively!) toward a healthier OST site. All I brought with me was a small tote bag of supplies and a big grin on my face. The kids warmed my heart with their eagerness to try a new game and release some energy, wh...Read More

Meet the BLT: Becky Shultz

Becky Shultz Director of Expanded Learning, WCSD – Reach For The Stars program, Whittier, CA Who or what inspires you? People who are looking for ways to be kind and help others inspire me. Why do you work in this field? I work in this field because it gives me the opportunity to give youth all of the things they don’t normally have access to. We have the privilege of being able to help produce globally responsible citizens who receive a well-rounded education. Can you name a person ...Read More

Coaching And Endless Possibilities

A quick story and important reminder about how important a good coach is, and what the possibilities are when you have a great coach. My son, who is in first grade, played rookie tackle football this fall. The season ended a few weeks ago, with his team winning the 1st-grade championship. It was a spectacular finish to the season—they got to play the game on the high school football field. Our town’s high school football team won the state championship last year, and so football is a pretty big ...Read More

How Clue and The 4C’s Inspire Connection, Community and Creativity

How DO board games inspire Connection, Community, and Creativity, you ask? Last week, eight middle school girls were consumed with the details related to who murdered Mr. Boddy. This wasn’t the latest episode of a crime drama, and thankfully wasn’t something in the news, but instead was the culminating event wrapping up their Secret Agent badge-an intense game of Clue. I’m lucky enough to be the troop leader for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, an out-of-school time activity that she and mo...Read More