Breakfast Club Blog

How Clue and The 4C’s Inspire Connection, Community and Creativity

How DO board games inspire Connection, Community, and Creativity, you ask? Last week, eight middle school girls were consumed with the details related to who murdered Mr. Boddy. This wasn’t the latest episode of a crime drama, and thankfully wasn’t something in the news, but instead was the culminating event wrapping up their Secret Agent badge-an intense game of Clue. I’m lucky enough to be the troop leader for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, an out-of-school time activity that she and mo...Read More

It’s Time to Reframe the Narrative around Black Youth — and Youth Work Has Some Tools to Do So

His name is Jordan Edwards. And Jayson Negron. And Darius Smith. He was fifteen years old. He was unarmed at the time of his untimely demise at the hands of law enforcement. He was a young man of color caught on the wrong side of the thin line between potential and death. He should be participating in a summer jobs program, playing hoops at the Y, or compiling an initial list of colleges. He – Jordan, Jayson, and Darius – should have turned sixteen. This past spring has brought a rash of extraju...Read More

Nurturing Lifelong Philanthropists: Inspiring Youth to Serve

Over the past five years I’ve had the pleasure of talking to many adults that mentor youth through their programs. Audiences come from a variety of youth-serving organizations including school and afterschool programs, foundations supporting youth leadership, and even children’s choirs and museums! Most of these adults have something in common; they learned philanthropic behaviors (giving and serving) by seeing the actions of an adult in their own lives. Many times that person is a p...Read More

We’ve All Got a Spark. Let’s Light a Fire!

We have the power to light a fire in every child with whom we work. It only takes one person to change a child’s life. Think back on your educational influences and you will likely find someone who lit a fire in you that still burns today. Across the country I’ve asked leaders, “What childhood science experiences do you remember?” People share about baking soda volcanoes, science fairs, field trips, and dissections that lit a spark in them. I never hear about textbooks. D...Read More

Tips from 7 Experts on School-Community Collaboration

This month the Alliance for a Healthier Generation is celebrating America’s Healthiest Schools. Schools recognized by the Alliance have met stringent guidelines for serving healthier meals and snacks, getting all children active and empowering school leaders to become healthy role models. Schools are essential partners for out-of-school time organizations. According to the Afterschool Alliance, 73% of parents report that their child’s afterschool program is located in a public school...Read More

BOOST Master Class: Leading for Student Engagement

I will be teaching on Project-Based Learning (PBL) strategies, and more, at a Master Class offered during the upcoming BOOST Conference. I hope you’ll join me on Thursday, April 28, from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m., for an interactive session on “Leading for Student Engagement: How to Plan and Sustain Effective Project-Based Learning Initiatives.” What sorts of projects might students tackle during out-of-school time? I’ve seen students design low-cost prosthetic devices to improve...Read More

Hope Circle: An Opportunity for Creative Movement

Dancing engages nearly all of the brain at once. Just participating in dance is good for the brain, but dance can also be used to intentionally target really important development areas for children. Children can come to see what they are capable of by experiencing the influence they have when they engage in creating dance. One of my favorite creative movement experiences to guide children through, and adults for that matter, is the “Hope Circle” experience. I first participated in a...Read More

Waiting for Superman?

For five years I mentored a student in Alexandria, Virginia. He lived with his grandparents in the same “Berg” housing projects made famous in the Denzel Washington movie Remember the Titans. During my time with this young man I witnessed a series of personal tragedies beginning in fifth-grade. His two younger half-brothers were taken from his home and sent to foster care. His 15 year-old-sister gave birth to a baby boy and dropped out of school. His grandmother went blind and had he...Read More