Breakfast Club Blog

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 for simple assault...Read More

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

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

Working Together: Heroes Through Collaboration

Quick, name any movie you can think of about education. Here are a few that immediately come to my mind: To Sir With Love…Stand and Deliver…Dangerous Minds…Dead Poets Society...Freedom Writers. As you made your list did you notice that they all tell a similar story – the story of a dedicated educator who essentially works alone, often against great odds, to reach out and inspire students? The individual hero-teacher appears not just in movies, but also on television shows, in t...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

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

15 Messages of Encouragement to Site Supervisors

As the beginning of the school year is underway, safe spaces during the out-of-school time hours are open and serving children all around the nation. This piece is collaboratively written by our bloggers and includes wisdom, tips, and inspiration for all of our valued Site Supervisors of out-of-school time programs. You ALL matter, and we wish you a successful school year. “I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this quote from Faouzi Skali: “My friend, stop searching for the wh...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

Leaping Into the Void: Modeling Learning for Our Students

Artist Yves Klein perfectly captured how it feels to be engaged in the creative act in this 1960 piece entitled Leap Into the Void. I have been teaching the creative process and making art for most of my adult life, and this image perfectly captures the feeling of not knowing where you’ll end up when you begin to make something. Leaping, literally, into the unknown, not knowing if you’ll fall to your death or grow wings and soar, is a wonderful metaphor for the process I’ve tried to teach studen...Read More

4 Steps to Make Student-Centered Learning Come Alive!

The purpose and potential of Expanded Learning Programs have changed radically in the last 20 years. The process began with the passage of California’s first comprehensive afterschool legislation, which Carla Sanger of LA’s BEST and I initiated in 1997. This paved the way for hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for elementary and middle school programs and resulted in a growing body of knowledge about what it takes to make a real difference in students’ lives. As part of this process, man...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