Breakfast Club Blog

Releasing the Giving Hangover

It never failed. I would receive mountains of canned goods, dry goods, and cash from well-meaning donors before Christmas (always accompanied by copious amounts of cranberry jelly), but the season inevitably came: The Giving Hangover. Call it the Winter Blues, or the Post-Christmas Slump, or whatever, giving always dropped at the food bank after New Years’ and often lasted until February, sometimes even into March. People had credit card bills to pay; people had higher utility bills to pay; peop...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

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

5 Ways To Prepare For Your Summer Program

If you are an educator responsible for providing a high quality summer program for children and youth in your community, you are probably busy right now with planning for summer. It is easy to fall into the routine of this busy time and you want to make sure you finish the school year strong. Take just a moment to consider some of the proactive things you can do to take your summer program to the next level. 1. Brainstorm ideas for your unique program culture High quality summer learning program...Read More

Student Recruitment Tactics: Part Two

This is the second installment of our two-part blog series focused on practical student recruitment strategies. You can read the first part blog here.  #6: Think socially Create opportunities for participants to bring their friends. It’s not always about your students coming to their class everyday. Create events or opportunities for registered students to go through a little bit of your program’s experience. It could be team building games at lunch, or a scavenger hunt after school,...Read More

Student Recruitment Tactics: Part One

This is a two-part blog series focused on practical student recruitment strategies. This first installment features five tips and five more tips will be shared on Friday.  Here are some common strategies when dealing with recruiting students for your program. Remember, you HAVE to be comfortable with the idea of the numbers game if you are going to succeed in achieving your attendance goals. Great programs worry about quality AND quantity. The New Yorker wrote an article shortly after the 2008 p...Read More

BOOST Breakfast Club 2015 Recap

Thank you for sharing 2015 with us! We look forward to this coming year and creating opportunities for change in educational and social services agencies serving youth in the out-of-school time hours. Our blog has a wealth of resources you and your organization from professionals in out-school-time, youth development, and education from across the globe. Our topics include: 21st Century Learning, Advocacy & Policy, Building Relationships, Closing the Achievement Gap, Common Core, Community C...Read More

Reflections on Inclusion from 21st CCLC Site Directors

I recently presented a workshop on inclusion at the 21st Century Community Learning Center Summer Institute in July. In preparing for the workshop I spoke with two local 21st CCLC site directors about how they included students with special needs. As the local evaluator I knew that these programs had successfully included students with various disabilities in their programs. Here are some best practices that I want to share with you: Port Norris School, small school in rural New Jersey 75 kids i...Read More

Supporting Afterschool Programs on Your School Campus

In 2008, forty-six percent of public elementary school reported that a fee-based stand-alone program was physically located on campus. -(National Center for Education Statistics, February 2009). Whether or not that figure holds true in 2014 is not yet known, but count yourself – and your students – lucky if you have a program available to your students on your campus. A continually growing body of research proves that high quality afterschool programs have the ability to change children’s ...Read More

Making Connections- Youth Development and Academic Achievement

For many afterschool programs having an academic piece that really does make a difference in the lives of their students seems an elusive goal. With more and more stress being placed on afterschool programs demonstrating how their activities improve the academic achievement of their students, it has become increasingly important to understand what fosters this kind of success. One way to evaluate whether academic activities will produce the desired results is to look at them through the lenses o...Read More

Best Practices in Afterschool: A Call for Mentorship

Due to the nature of my job, I visit a lot of afterschool programs throughout the country. A common element I’ve noticed at any program, whether they are in schools, community buildings, or churches, is the smell. It is the same no matter where I go. There’s always a hint of disinfectant, perhaps some body odor if it’s a middle school program, crayons, paint, chalkboards, whiteboard markers, or computer labs (I don’t know what that smell is, but there is definitely someth...Read More