Breakfast Club Blog

Why Schools Should Inspire Students to Do What They Do Best

This is the fourth article in a four-part series. Read the first, second and third articles. Many talented teachers and coaches have a knack for spotting and fostering innate talent in others. They are driven to maximize the potential of every student and athlete who they serve. My daughter Miriam graduated from high school this year, and she was blessed to have such a coach. Four years ago, Miriam was a gymnast who competed successfully at her first regional gymnastics meet. A few weeks later, ...Read More

How to Receive Funding Dollars to Feed Kids on School Holidays & Weekends!

Did you know that funding is available to feed kids on school holidays and weekends? Most program providers know that the Afterschool Meal and Snack Program, through the Child and Adult Care Food Program, will reimburse schools, local government agencies, and private nonprofit organizations for serving meals and snacks to kids in programs after school. Few, however, know that they could receive the same funding to feed kids on school holidays and weekends. The Afterschool Meal and Snack Program ...Read More

8 FREE Resources to Welcome In the New School Year

Happy New Year! Greetings! It is a new year! 2017-2018 starts now! This is a time when you will see kids you know and a time to meet new kiddos. But most important, it is a time to learn from last year and make this year even better. It’s back to school time!     Take a moment to think about what you learned from last year and what your New Year’s resolutions are for this upcoming year, how will you improve your program? Will you concentrate on staff development, sustainable programmi...Read More

ExScaredEd: Fear & Excitement of the Unknown

My son Dylan just started first grade a few weeks ago. In the weeks leading up to it, he coined a new word to describe how he was feeling: ExScaredEd. A combination of excited and scared, he said that was the best way to express how he was approaching this new year. I love it. I love, love, love it. Since then, he added “ExNerveEd” to describe being excited and nervous, and “ExSKYted” to express being extra-excited. Which are both pretty cool too. But I’m stuck on ExScaredEd. Because isn’t that ...Read More

Taming the Beast – Hip Hop in After-School

I love hip hop music. I love love love the songs on the radio. I love probably the worst of the worst. I love even the songs that treat women like sex objects and I’m a feminist through and through. I just love the sounds and the beats, and the spirit hidden under the layer of words that to me feel like a front, an inheritance of our culture and the roles that are being played out of ignorance and habit. But the truth is, even though I love these songs and sing them out loud in my car, I d...Read More

3 Great Opportunities to Blast off the New School Year

It’s that time again! All across the country, youth are getting ready to embrace the new school year and after-school programs are transitioning from summer learning to fall programming. I have found that a new school year is like a blank journal just waiting for an author’s special touch. It is an opportunity to expand upon an existing story, transform the direction of the story, or create something totally new. I wanted to share three thoughts to consider as you begin the new school year: 1. W...Read More

7 Healthy Makeover Ideas for Your Office & Breakroom

Back-to-school is Here. For youth serving organizations, transitioning from summer to the school year is stressful. With tight budgets, limited capacity and less-than-inspiring news headlines, staying optimistic, energized and creative is a challenge. This article builds on my previous blog, “Designing Welcoming and Healthy Environments” with seven ways to makeover your office and break room this fall. Like this topic? I will be presenting a workshop based on this article at the National Recreat...Read More

Calming Back-to-School Jitters for LGBTQ Youth

Will I make friends? What if I get lost? Will I like my teachers? What if I do something embarrassing? These are the back to school jitters we’re used to helping youth navigate. We have all kinds of strategies to help young people feel comfortable in their new classroom or after school program — putting their name on a desk or name tag, icebreakers, activities that encourage youth to get to know each other — the list is endless. But consider the young person who is unsure of his or h...Read More

7 Back-to-School Resources for the Expanded Learning Field

Hello Expanded Learning, Out-of-School Time, and rockstar educators across the globe! In support of back-to-school time, our home team has chosen a hodgepodge of resources that will jumpstart your school year. 1.  Apply for FREE school supplies! Kids In Need Foundation has your back and is giving out two large boxes to qualified applicants. The deadline to apply is August 14th. 2. For a plethora of professional development, curriculum, outdoor education, support and training, school products, te...Read More

Out-of-School Time Staff – What do you get to do?

Hello Breakfast Club readers & leaders! As we approach August and get closer to launching the 2017/2018 school year, I wanted to share a speech I was asked to do for a CAL SAC leadership event in June, in Los Angeles. I am hoping this helps motivate and inspire you and your staff to appreciate all you GET to do. They come to us filled with hormones, under-resourced, confused, academically behind, overstimulated and oversexualized, underfed, tired and with poor hygiene. They are bullied, they...Read More

STEM and Wellness: Colliding Galaxies

My fellow BOOST Breakfast Club blogger, Erika Petrelli of The Leadership Program recently wrote an article that explored the “beauty of galaxies colliding.” My inner Galileo loves the thought of swirling stars and as partnership director for a national children’s health nonprofit, social justice movements working together to accelerate and grow is even more thrilling. For galaxies to collide and movements to join forces, there has to be space. A recent Harvard Business Review article, The Benefi...Read More

People Aren’t Flies: How Youth Can Listen Without Needing to Be Heard

We have all experienced a time when we believed we had a genuine connection with a person, only to find out that they had a specific agenda in mind. We have all experienced someone that has tried to proselytize or preach at us, to use us to get ahead, or to gain access to our friends or family members. For many people, what starts out as a genuine connection dissolves almost instantly as soon as the sirens of topics such as politics or religion are sounded. We know how difficult it can be to hav...Read More