Breakfast Club Blog

Tilling the Soil: Staff Turnover

Corn as high as an elephant’s eye? Why stop there? The seeds are bought. The seller promised a yield surpassing anything ever seen before. Acre upon acre of corn growing much, much higher than an elephant’s eye. The new tractor had been purchased. Much better than the old tractor. And just for show, you bought new work gloves and a some new boots. The rains had been good, the weather fair for growing. The table was set for record yields and hopes were high. So, full of hope, you spre...Read More

GIRLS: A Sneak Peek Into Their World of Aggression

In the past couple of years there has been much talk about females becoming more aggressive and violent. More aggressive? Many people would say that’s an understatement. More violent? Now, that’s not such a clear answer. According to the latest research conducted by the Girls Study Group for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, “available evidence based on arrest, victimization, and self-report data suggests that although girls are currently arrested more ...Read More

Don’t Curse in Front of Kids: Improving Staff Development

I’m going to tell you a story, which I hope has something to do with after school. When I was 21, I went to Cameroon, West Africa to teach elementary school. This might have been a bad idea – I’d never taught anyone anything, had a spotty reputation as a babysitter, and was more comfortable with dogs than kids. But, I knew more about kids than about irrigation systems or artificially inseminating cows so it seemed like my best option to get to Africa. I was signed up to teach E...Read More

From Changing Lives To Saving Lives

For the past fifteen years I’ve had the privilege of working in the afterschool field as a program director, consultant, policymaker and advocate. I’ve met countless people who are making a huge difference. Students are doing better in school, becoming more enthusiastic about learning, developing positive social relationships, experiencing new things and mastering new skills. There’s no question that afterschool programs change lives. Now it’s time to save lives. Just a f...Read More

Stop, Look, and Listen with Your Eyes

A number of years ago, I clipped a cartoon from the daily newspaper to add to my collection of poignant printed reminders that deal with the importance of valuing interpersonal relationships. In the cartoon, a little blond boy of six or seven was looking forlornly at his mother, who was busy ironing the family’s clothing. She appeared to be listening to what he had to say, but her eyes were downcast, concentrating on her chore. In the cartoon callout, the young boy begged, “Listen wi...Read More