Breakfast Club Blog

Attention: Get in the Cyberworld Now!!!

If we want to know what is going on in the cyberworld with our kids, we need to get into the cyberworld. A new frontier has quickly developed and for many adults it is a frontier that is very foreign to us. This new frontier is the Cyberworld. This world offers our kids some pretty amazing things that can help foster their growth as an individual and provide information that accelerates their educational learning opportunities. Developed as an educator’s tool for sharing, the internet and ...Read More

Somewhere along the way we forgot that we are Superheroes…

I remember that it was during middle school that I began collecting Iron Man comic books. I don’t know if it was Tony Stark’s playboy swagger or his awesome suit that rocked me. Almost everyone has childhood memories of their superheroes and one’s immediate desire to “validate” why his/her superhero was the best. Personally, I’ve always been intrigued in how we create and identify with superheroes… especially during adolescence. It was not until recently...Read More

Stop, focus, and reflect

As schools and afterschool programs across the country are gearing up for the 2010-11 school year, now is a good time to stop, take a breath, and reflect about where we are. While this might seem counterintuitive to some of us (I know many of us try to take that breather at the end of the school year), it’s always good to go into a new year with an open mind. As someone who conducts training, professional development, and technical assistance with afterschool program staff, I often focus o...Read More

Ed Reform: A Turning Point for Afterschool?

It’s been a hot, hot summer here on the East Coast. But the sweltering temperature is nothing compared to the heated debate going on all around the country as the Administration and Congress take up serious education reform efforts. A lot of big issues are on the table, including major shifts in funding for afterschool programs as well as what happens after school and in the summer. At the center of the debate is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), a l...Read More

Picking Teams Painlessly

Being the last one picked is just no fun. What if the last words you heard before you became a team member was “Alright, I guess we have to take you”? The first play hasn’t been made and already, you feel like a failure. For some students, the mere act of picking teams is so difficult they simply choose not to participate in physical activity, thus avoiding the stress. The emotional safety of our students is as essential as the physical safety and it can begin with the act of p...Read More

Who You Are Speaks Louder than Anything You Can Say

A troubled mother took her daughter to see Mohandas Gandhi, who was world-renowned for his great spiritual discipline. It seems the young girl had become addicted to eating sweets, and her mother wanted Gandhi to speak to her about this harmful habit and convince her to drop it. Upon hearing this request, Gandhi paused in silence and then told the mother, “Bring the girl back to me in three weeks and I will speak to her then.” Just as she was instructed, the mother returned with her ...Read More

4 Quick Thoughts on Leadership

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” –Abraham Lincoln I love people who push themselves to perform at the highest level possible. Because I’m a child of the 80’s, where we proudly rocked mullets and tight rolled our jeans, I think about Michael Jordan. The game was over and you’d find him in the gym shooting 500 free throws. He had an internal drive to do better. He wanted to be the best he could be. Because I can actually hear your staff and students banging on your ...Read More

It All Adds Up: Hiring, Training, and Evaluating for the Things You Really Care About

I was fortunate enough to lead a pre-conference session at this year’s BOOST conference with my good friend Scott Arizala who is the Bono of the camping world. This guy is a bonafied rockstar. He trains and speaks at camps across the country and is a national keynoter and thought leader in the camping community. We co-led a session titled: “Retaining and Sustaining in Times of Crisis.” Along with the attendees we had a solid 6 hours to dream and scheme and plan and vent and cre...Read More

The Challenge of Creating a Culture

Almost every day, I am a teacher, a student, or a leader. Sometimes I play one role at a time. Sometimes I play all three at once. One could say I dance in between them. I’m sure that all of us who work with you move between these roles and watch our peers and our students do the same. The question I keep coming back to, no matter what role I am in, is how do I create a culture that I can be proud of and inspired to be a part of? And what I mean by culture in this context is the feeling in...Read More

After School Funding – How Can You Help?

Well, it’s that time of year when budget negotiations begin to heat up in Sacramento, and once again, the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) is recommending that voters be given the opportunity to amend or repeal Proposition 49. The problem with Prop 49, they say, is its inflexibility. The initiative, which was passed by a 56% majority in November of 2002, guarantees an annual $550 million General Fund appropriation to operate the After School Education and Safety (ASES) program. The...Read More

Ubuntu: A person is a person through other people

There are many times in my life that I can think back to and attribute success solely to what I have done by myself, for myself, or for someone else, but accomplished just by me, alone. These are excellent moments for self-reflection and acknowledgment of individual accomplishment, and although individuals create many great things by themselves, we do not, for the most part, live as hermits, isolated from the rest of humanity. We live in families and in societies comprised of cities and towns, a...Read More

If I’d Only Known…

Have you ever had an “if only I’d known…” episode? This happened to me when I learned some simple ways I could have helped a hearing-impaired student join my YMCA afterschool program with much less stress and fuss—had I only known. Basically, this is what happened: In the fall of 1999, a father came to my office to register his son and his stepson for our afterschool program. He was newly married, had just moved to the area and had some difficulty completing all the neces...Read More