Breakfast Club Blog

What Kind Of Mark Did You Make Today?

Checking in with your kids each day is a great way to help them remember their values and to focus on the type of person that they want to be. And a great question to ask each day is – “What mark did you make today?” You see, every time we are with someone we leave a “mark” – either a “gold heart” or a “grungy mark” depending on how we treated them. When I was a young girl, my Dad loved to talk about the Golden Rule – “to treat others as I would want to be treated.” The Golden Rule was rea...Read More

An Instant Activity Blueprint to Get All Kids Moving

It’s a fact. Kids need physical activity. Frequent physical activity has been linked to a variety of positive developmental outcomes for kids, including improved health, cognition, and even behavior. As “fitness mentors” it’s important we provide kids ample opportunities to be active throughout the day. While this sounds good in theory, the time, space, and equipment we have available to inspire kids to be active may be limited. Not to mention, we can quickly run out of ideas as little bodies an...Read More

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

Coaching And Endless Possibilities

A quick story and important reminder about how important a good coach is, and what the possibilities are when you have a great coach. My son, who is in first grade, played rookie tackle football this fall. The season ended a few weeks ago, with his team winning the 1st-grade championship. It was a spectacular finish to the season—they got to play the game on the high school football field. Our town’s high school football team won the state championship last year, and so football is a pretty big ...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

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

Our Kids Are Stressed Out – 5 Ways to Empower Youth To Find Their CALMM

Focus, Pay Attention, Sit Still, Listen, Follow Directions… Just a few phrases youth are bombarded with on a daily basis whether it’s coming from their parents, teachers or other adults in their lives. As adults it can seem as if our words go in one ear and out the other and that children lack attention, motivation and behavior is something they have immediate control over or is an intentional response. Our kids Are Stressed Out – Empowering Youth the find their CALMM In my years as an education...Read More

Speak on What We Do! Youth Development is for You!

I believe you cannot learn youth development without experiencing it. What I mean by “youth development” is distinct from “education.” Reflecting on nearly 19 years in our field of many names, I embrace Expanded Learning here in California as it embodies the heart of our work.  When I hear Michael Funk, Director of the Expanded Learning Division at the California Department of Education, talk about the importance of love, I feel at home.  It inspires me to reach out to those of you who can relat...Read More

Three Shining Lights Against a Dark Cloud

Under normal circumstances, I’m not one to be political in a public and professional forum, but really, I’m in need of some writing therapy. Every day, I read the latest news story about another negative appointment to the President- elect’s cabinet. Who knew there were so many people who both seem to despise the role of government AND also want to lead it? While alarming, those aren’t even the most upsetting parts of my daily doldrums. What really brings me down are the ...Read More

The Power of Positive Thought

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, life can become overwhelming. As youth workers we want the young people we work with to embrace the positive messages of the holiday season, be it gratitude and thankfulness to knowing that they are loved and cherished. While we go the extra mile at work to ensure our youth enjoy their holiday season, we may also be stressing about our personal schedules and responsibilities around the holidays. How will I find time to purchase all those presents...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

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

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