Breakfast Club Blog

Collaboration, Gratitude and Birds (Yeah, Birds!)

As we enter the holiday season, I’m thankful to be coming up on my 10th year at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. As Director of Community Partnerships, I have the unique pleasure of cultivating relationships to engage communities in promoting children’s health. For this article, I wanted to share three collaborations that I am particularly excited about – each with resources I hope you can use to bring wellness to life in out-of-school time while engaging families and empowering children...Read More

#GirlsAre Builders, Explorers and Adventurers

This month the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Clinton Foundation are joining forces to inspire a new generation of strong active women. Girls are fierce, but we know that by age 14, girls drop out of sports two times faster than boys and less than 50% of 12-15 year old girls get the recommended amount of physical activity. To celebrate #GirlsAre, I reached out to nine leaders who are helping to flip this script. This group of nine are builders, explorers and adventurers, stretching ...Read More

How More Play Leads to More Learning (Part 2)

In this 3-part series, we will explore how more play, creative expression, and movement can lead to more cognitive development. The link from body to brain is powerful, so getting kids to move more and study a little less throughout the day may seem counterintuitive, but it may actually lead to better grades and even improve behavior! In part 2 we will explore the mechanisms behind the power of movement to improve the brain. If you missed Part 1, click here.  So how is it possible that more time...Read More

Creating a More Connected World Through Local Agriculture: 9 Voices

Imagine if we, above all else, prioritized creating a more connected world. If we blend and integrate our passions, what innovations will we discover? What challenges would we overcome? To celebrate National Nutrition Month, this article explores how local agriculture can help foster social connectedness. To do this, I spoke with youth and adults representing urban and rural communities, non-profits, business and government and education agencies. Each brings a perspective that explores linkages...Read More

Designing Welcoming and Healthy Environments: 4 Activities

Designing welcoming environments for children and families has never been more important. Let’s look at some statistics and then talk action! Recent research shows that high school students report feeling “tired, stressed and bored” during the school day. 28% of U.S. students in grades 6–12 have experienced bullying and children with disabilities experience an increased risk. During the 2013-2014 school year, more than 1.3 million homeless children and youth were enrolled in pu...Read More

Taking Stock of and Improving Your Program’s Food

Having made it through the hectic beginning of the new school year, now is a great time to take a fresh look at the food served in your afterschool program. Food is an important part of any afterschool program, helping to draw in children and to ensure that they are not hungry and can fully benefit from the activities being offered. Is your program providing fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low fat milk? For the millions of children who live in homes struggling to put food on ...Read More

Grow Your Program with Gardening

My two driving passions are youth development and access to fresh food. So the idea of incorporating gardening into youth programs gets me very fired up. There are a lot of great garden resources out there including this previous Breakfast Club Blog: Garden-Based Learning. Truth be told I could chat about gardening plans and show you pictures of my little urban garden all day. But first we should talk about how gardening fits in to your bigger, grander program plan. Because gardening fits into e...Read More

Food as a Foundation for Global Understanding

Asia Society and BOOST Collaborative are partnering to create a series of blogs on global learning in out-of-school time.  This blog entry was orginally published on EdWeek’s Global Learning Blog.  This entry is written by Heather Loewecke, Senior Program Manager, Afterschool and Youth Leadership Initiatives, Asia Society. In this entry she outlines some ideas for incorporating food and cooking into classrooms and afterschool programs. Visit Asia Society’s website for the full list o...Read More

3 Ways Summer Meals Are Making A Difference

Summer is here! For some families, summer plans involve which parks they’ll visit or vacations they’ll take. But for other families, summer can be a time of great stress as they find themselves struggling to fill the food gap that’s created when schools close and children no longer have access to healthy meals at school. Fortunately, there is a solution: the Summer Nutrition Programs. These programs—the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program (N...Read More

Addressing Food Security in your Expanded Learning Program

Think about all of the meals that you ate today. Did you have to think about: 1. Did you eat today? 2. Did you have enough to eat today? 3. What would you like to eat today? 4. Or did you not even think about food as you may eat whatever you like whenever you like? Many of the students that we serve in our Expanded Learning programs answer different questions than the ones we probably answered. More and more students rely on the food that is being served in school cafeterias all across the natio...Read More

Leveraging Wellness to Help Children Think Global and Act Local

Although the facts are alarming, conveying the importance of wellness to children can be challenging. Childhood obesity has almost tripled in children and adolescents in the past 30 years and today approximately one out of three children and adolescents in the United States is overweight or obese. Even more alarming, there are significant racial and ethnic disparities in obesity prevalence among U.S. children and adolescents. Research shows a strong link between a young person’s practice o...Read More

Snack It Up: Give Your Snacks an Upgrade for Less

What does snack time look like in your program? Are kids eating snacks like fruits, vegetables, and water, or are there bags of chips, cookies, and juice boxes?  Maybe you want to offer healthier snacks, but don’t think your program has the time or money?  Your local grocery store can be a great community partner to help make healthy snacks more affordable. In a recent announcement, First Lady Michelle Obama highlighted the important role that out-of-school-time organizations can play in fightin...Read More

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