Breakfast Club Blog

How A CEO Integrates Leadership and Sports On An Everyday Basis

Editor’s Note: We welcome first-time Breakfast Club blogger Jeffrey L. Jordan, CEO of Sportika Sports in Manalapan, New Jersey. We had the chance to interview Jeff about his work managing a 170,000 square foot elite sports facility serving 1000 families /kids a year. In this interview blog, Jeff shares how he integrates leadership and life skills with youth and staff simultaneously. Q: How do you use leadership and life skills when you are coaching your athletes at Sportika? JLJ: As if we ...Read More

Parent Education

My son Oliver celebrated his seventh birthday on Monday. He has reached a stage in his development where he equates the value of his own opinions with those of his parents. Our word is no longer accepted as absolute truth. Every statement of fact is met with skepticism. Every directive requires supporting rationale. It’s pretty annoying. But something happened yesterday that made me wonder if he isn’t occasionally wise to question my authority. One of the gifts he received was a Poké...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

The Story of Two Wes Moore’s: An Impactful Reading Experience

A few weeks ago, I heard a wonderful speaker at a conference I attended on transformative change. The speaker, Wes Moore, is author of the book, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. Immediately following his presentation, I logged onto my Amazon account and downloaded his book. I was about halfway through chapter two when I realized that this should be the topic of my next blog. If you have not heard of this book or read it, I highly recommend that you do. My guess is that as soon as you re...Read More

Helping Kids Handle “Test Stress”

During the spring, kids across America are preparing for state-mandated tests. For many kids, that means extra stress as they complete additional worksheets, take practice tests, and worry about whether or not they will advance to the next grade level. We call this “test stress.” Test stress often leads to feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and fear, which can have a very negative impact on children’s ability to think clearly and to perform well on tests (there is actually brain...Read More

Expanding Our Commitments to Brothers in Out-of-School Time

A year ago February, President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (MBK). The goal of MBK was to lift up and strengthen any and all efforts that were “helping more young men of color stay on track. Providing the support they need to think more broadly about their future. Building on what works, when it works, in those critical life-changing moments.” As a lifelong youth worker, my professional calling has been dedicated to those “life-changing moments.”...Read More

Hugs are Free Today but Tomorrow they’re a Dollar

Over the last few years, I have become known as “the lady who loves hugs.” When I visit any of our campuses, the kids come running ready for a hug, while others sit back and wait for me to approach them. Regardless if they run or wait, almost every single kid extends out their arms awaiting the embrace. For 13 years, I have wholeheartedly embraced the belief that we must hug our kids. I know that there are all sorts of arguments out there for why we should not show physical affection...Read More

Physical Education Can Promote Global Competence

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 originally published on EdWeek’s Global Learning Blog. This entry was written by Rich Keegan, author of “Global Games for Diversity Education,” and a physical education teacher at Squadron Line Elementary School in Simsbury, CT. Traditionally physical education classes have not only focused on how to move, but also have emphasized teamwor...Read More

12 Tips to Integrate Academic Enrichment In Afterschool

I have been working with after school programs across the country since 1998. And there are some things that I have learned that make doing academic enrichment activities more successful with kids after school. To meet the goals of this, we need after school not more school and kids should be engaged and having fun. Here are some helpful tips: Meet with your school(s) to find out what areas to focus on, where kids need more time, and how you can work together to align with what they are focusing...Read More

Social Emotional Learning in Out-of-School Time

For the future, it’s vital to rethink the dynamic relationships between heart and mind within human consciousness and their essential place in the education of all our students. —Sir Ken Robinson, PH.D., author, speaker and leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation In conjunction with academic learning, social emotional learning (SEL) plays a critical role in educating the whole child and laying the foundation for lifelong learning, engagement, and well-being. While...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