Breakfast Club Blog

The BOOST Breakfast Club Blog is a curated space where bloggers from around the world contribute content on a continual basis about a variety of topics relevant to in and out-of-school time. The BOOST Breakfast Club blog is at the heart of an ongoing dialogue where expanded learning and education professionals share their personal thoughts and stories from the in and out-of-school time field. They also tell us what they ate for breakfast!

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company. Enjoy the brain food.

The BOOST Breakfast Club Blog is Brain Food for In and Out-of-School Time Leaders!

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Illuminating The Beauty-FULL in You

In a post called “Beautiful” in On Wings & Whimsy: Finding The Extraordinary Within The Ordinary, I remember a story wherein my then-three-year-old daughter ponders whether or not she is “beautiful.” Whether or not she is “anything.” It made me shudder, even back then, how prevalent the culture of comparison is, and how from such a young age we judge our worth against the approval or disapproval of others. And I was thinking about it again recently because I saw a funny-true meme that remind...Read More

Why It’s Valuable to Integrate Parents and Social Emotional Learning

You are raising your kids, you receive a letter/email from the school that your child is about to embark on a personal exploration journey based on self-awareness, decision making, building positive relationships, and empathy. And it’s called social and emotional learning. And you think, “Is that what education is now-a-days?” Guess what? It sure is, and if it isn’t, it should be! Okay, okay, some parents/families might think, “this is just what we need!” After all, it’s ...Read More

Summer Meals: Policy Update and Best Practices for Summer 2021

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a critical resource for filling the nutrition gap that exists for many low-income children who rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year. The need to expand the reach of the Summer Nutrition Programs is more important than ever as communities continue to respond to COVID-19’s impacts on food security, education, and the economy. To support continued meal access during COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended key n...Read More

Are your students at risk? Here’s what to watch for.

Over the past 25 years of working with administrators and teachers around SEL, the pushback has been “I don’t have time for that” or “I don’t know what to do” or “I’m not a school counselor.”  We are living in a state of emergency, and we must be fully present for our students. No excuses. More than ever, students need to know that they are not alone in this crazy world. We must communicate unceasingly that they are seen, known, valued, and loved. Friends, it’s time to put student well-being abo...Read More

Join the 2021/22 BOOST Leadership Team

The BOOST Leadership Team is critically important to the success and impact of the BOOST Conference. This amazing team provides big ideas, new connections, practical strategies while adding credibility to the planning and execution process. This comprehensive Leadership Team represents the diversity of after school, expanded learning, and out-of-school time programs and includes representatives serving at all levels of the field. We are a quality conference truly planned by dedicated (and fun) a...Read More

Let’s GROW! Tips for Program Replication and Expansion

Expanded learning programs have gotten a lot of attention in the first part of 2021 – and we deserve it! Funding from federal, state, and local governments is flowing to summer and out-of-school time providers, many of which are poised for large scale growth in the coming year. Thoughtful, intentional expansion is critical for our field to make the most of this opportunity. So, what should providers keep in mind as they ramp up? Our team at Public Profit helps mission-driven organizations take t...Read More

Bring a Strength-Based Approach to the Way You Communicate

Recently, I was reading program descriptions and program plans which included goals. As always, I was impressed with and proud of what afterschool program staff are able to accomplish and what they strive to do. One thing gave me pause. Deficit language reared its ugly head in more than a few of the program descriptions and plans. I realized that as a field we often talk about using a strength-based approach in our program activities and in our relationships with youth and family. Yet, we have h...Read More

Honoring Mary Jo Ginty, 2021 OSTI Award Winner

On Thursday, April 29, Mary Jo Ginty was honored with the 2021 OSTI Award at the BOOST Conference. Mary Jo was a beloved friend, leader, mentor, and colleague, and we were proud to welcome many of her friends and family members to join us virtually at the BOOST Conference and celebrate her immeasurable contributions to the after school, expanded learning, and in and out-of-school time field. Created in 2007, the global OSTI Awards honors expanded learning, after school, and in and out-of-school ...Read More

The Challenge of Creating a Culture

Almost every day, I am a teacher, a student, or a leader. Sometimes I play one role at a time. Sometimes I play all three at once. One could say I dance in between them. I’m sure that all of us who work with youth move between these roles and watch our peers and our students do the same. The question I keep coming back to, no matter what role I am in, is how do I create a culture that I can be proud of and inspired to be a part of? And what I mean by culture in this context is the feeling ...Read More

Understanding Our Impact: How The Smallest Things Can Ignite The Most Lasting Memories

I’ve been doing a lot of trainings around Social Emotional Leadership recently, which I love so much. Tapping in to the “softer” side of our leadership seems more important now than it ever was before. In my trainings I’m known to use this quote from Douglas Conant, formerly of Campbell Soup, who says: “Even a brief interaction can change the way people think about themselves, their leaders, and the future. Each of those many connections you make has the potential to become a high point or a low...Read More

Where the Rubber Meets the Road- Planning a Successful Afterschool Activity

Building on the concept that the most productive learning comes through active involvement, the effectiveness of any program that seeks to develop skills in youth must be rich in activity. Remember, most of the students sit for almost 7.5 hours a day! They are eager to be involved in activities that allow for action and interaction. Enthusiasm is contagious and movement essential. You do not need a repertoire of several hundred activities. Such a large selection is simply not practical and, more...Read More

Recovery – Coming Back from Being Down

Recently I recovered from a pretty intense back injury. I have accelerated degeneration in the discs of my upper back and lower spine areas. The injury prevented me from exercising for over two years. I consider myself a strong athlete and competitor in many sports. The news of my injury was hard to digest and felt terrible. When I incurred the injury, I was not only physically impaired but something happened to me mentally as well —my confidence went downhill. I had a lot of recovery work to do...Read More