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Author: Kristin Stayer

Identity Development for Youth – OST Has a Role to Play

My work at pilotED Schools includes designing an identity development curriculum that includes representative history and civic engagement woven together with transformative social and emotional learning practices. A key feature of the adolescence development journey is determining who one is and deciding who one will be through identity exploration and development. Let’s chat about identity devel...

Brain-Friendly

One key feature of engaged student learning is ensuring that the programs we offer are brain-friendly. Let’s examine four components that can be integrated into learning practices. Acknowledgment If it’s Worth Doing, it’s Worth Celebrating Pride, pleasure, and increased feelings of self-esteem are all common reactions to being paid a compliment or receiving positive feedback. Why? Because being pr...

Engage, Ask, And Listen

If I were sitting in person with you right now, I could ask either: Do you like open-ended questions? OR What power do open-ended questions have in the classroom? Which would guide us towards a more meaningful conversation? You guessed it 😊–  the second one! Ok, so that was easy! Knowing the difference between a closed or open-ended question is the simple part but the intentionality and prac...

Connection Before Content

Author, storyteller, and researcher, Brené Brown defines connection “as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” Sit with that for a minute. We are all wired for connection. While it’s true that a connection can happen organically as the activit...

Engaging Young People in Creative Placemaking: Part Two

Welcome back to this two-part blog series as we unpack what creative placemaking looks like in community development and how we can use it as a tool to empower youth in being key players in their local public spaces. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take a few minutes to read Engaging Young People in Creative Placemaking: Part One, published February 20, 2018 right here on the BOOS...

Engaging Young People in Creative Placemaking: Part One

Young people have inspiration, ideas, and unique problem-solving skills to contribute to community planning.  One of the most holistic ways of designing sustainable spaces and places is through creative placemaking. In this two-part blog post, I will share with you what creative placemaking is, the importance of it in our communities, and how we can use creative placemaking in our youth programs. ...

20 Resources that Create Cultural Exchanges in the Garden

Community gardens serve as a place-based tool for connection, empowerment, and cultural identity. Today, more gardens are popping up in school yards, in vacant lots, nonprofits, and housing developments. Educators are using gardens as creative and holistic tools for teaching beyond the walls of the classroom. In 2014, I wrote the piece, Using Gardens as Classrooms and shared how educators can use ...

How to Overcome the #BOOSTBlues

The 2016 BOOST Conference has finished and it’s been one week since we left Palm Springs and have all returned to our homes, schools, programs, and communities. While you have probably left feeling inspired, recharged, and ready to put what you learned in action, you might be feeling the #BOOSTBlues! Hear what some of our Leadership Team and Bloggers have to say about how they handle their #...

Adventure Learning: Cultural, Nature, and Museum Virtual Expeditions

As our global technology world expands, there are several creative virtual field trips and learning opportunities for students. “Adventure Learning is an educational approach that provides learners with opportunities to explore real-world issues through authentic learning experiences within a collaborative online learning environment” (Doering, 2005, as cited in GoNorth! Chukotka 2007 ...

My Why: Defining Moments and Relationships

In college, I was in search of a work-study position to help pay the bills. I knew I loved working with children and so I interviewed for a position with a local after school program. Not only did I receive the job, I received a life-long mentor in the field of education, a passion for the out-of-school time field, and a purpose for continuing my education and career path with children, families, ...

Garden-Based Learning

Imagine a table full of a diverse range of vegetables and herbs, including chilies, okra, lemongrass, Swiss chard, gourds, figs, and persimmon. Gardens are places where students can experience all of their senses and be connected to the global world through the natural resources of earth. Gardens, and the people in the community near your garden, are an incredible asset to schools and afterschool ...