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

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Seeing Clearly in the Fog: Reflections on the Core Value of Connection

The other morning I went to the beach and was startled by the fog. From the boardwalk where I jogged, I could barely see the waves surface upon the sand. People emerged before me from the damp greyness only as I got close, and even the high-rise buildings off to the side disappeared as I gazed up. There was mystery in the distance, and what laid ahead remained hidden. And so, I focused on my breath, my pace, my thoughts, the people before me, and the here and now feeling of it all. While our wor...Read More

Wear a Mask and Vote

On September 24, my son attended school in person for the first time since March 13. We were grateful for the opportunity to resume classroom learning and more than willing to adhere to all mandated safety protocols, including wearing masks and social distancing. We have all learned to incorporate these practices into our daily lives for the benefit of our neighbors, our families, and ourselves. Yet, somehow, wearing a mask has become associated with political ideology, the liberal equivalent of...Read More

Being a Change Agent in Quarantine

With both in-person schooling and programs moving online, I didn’t have the resources at the time to transition to fully relying on digital platforms. I had adapted to having hands-on experiences and collaborating with other students in the same space to advocate for student voice and BIPOC communities. As a Gem Project fellow, I was really worried about how engaging the program could still be and how much I’d be learning about youth activism if our resources are limited. But The Gem Project’s e...Read More

What the COVID-19 Crisis Has Taught Us

I just finished my spinach smoothie for breakfast and am reflecting on how we all work hard these days to stay healthy and sane. My wife makes me spinach smoothies to start the day, and I drink them, though I don’t like them, because they are promising—hopeful for good health and energy. We need both, especially in these trying times of global pandemic, social distancing, and online learning. Friday, March 13, 2020 (yep, Friday the 13th) will be remembered by many folks in the education world fo...Read More

Using Mindfulness to Transform Self and Students

My love affair with mindfulness began innocently enough. I was working as a primary care provider in an internal medicine office at the time. I was a newly graduated PA and quickly became surprised by how many patients would come in to the office over and over again for the same problems. So many people were continuing to suffer despite getting all the best medical care that western medicine had to offer. What was missing? I was determined to find out. At the time, I had not even done yoga, much...Read More

Persistence: Why It’s Hard Before It’s Easy

I’ve written about this very thing before, but I’m struck once again at how HARD things are before they become EASY. My son and daughter took a few rounds of swimming lessons this summer. For my son, who only recently turned three, this was his first experience with swimming lessons, and they came at a time when he was only just beginning to enjoy just simply playing in the water. Here’s how the first round went for him: During his first lesson, he cried hysterically from the f...Read More

Gemstones in the rubble: Reflections on rediscovering our core values

In recent months people across all 50 states and worldwide are in the streets raising their voices and their fists to demand racial justice for our communities and world. The simmering heat of a robust Black Lives Matter movement added to heightened distress of the COVID-19 pandemic finally brought society to a boiling point. Yet it’s sobering to realize that we’ve been through similar uprisings before and still our moral sins persisted. How can we assure this time we will be different, th...Read More

Parents, Your Grit and Resilience Matters Now Too!

I know, I know, you keep hearing it… “It’s been a weird, scary, and wild time in history!” And maybe you’re thinking, “There’s so much we have no idea about! What could possibly be next? How do we get ready for fall if school districts aren’t even ready? What will school and afterschool look like? What about my own job? How can I work from home and keep parenting my kids? I am not equipped!” Your questions are seen and valid. You are not alone. I have been hearing these questions happen all arou...Read More

Healing the World Begins with Me!

Right now, it seems that the world is a pressure cooker of challenges from which no one can escape. The COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented job losses have created incredible stress and uncertainty. Police violence toward African Americans—and centuries-long institutional racism—have sparked outrage and demonstrations across the nation. In New York City, we saw a spike in gun violence over the July 4th holiday. Child abuse and domestic violence are on the rise—and we know actual rates are higher...Read More

An Invitation to Unplug: 4 Nature-Based Activities

This month, Healthier Generation is celebrating Park and Recreation Month and the essential role greenspace plays in making our lives better. For example, did you know that trees can reduce anxiety and taking a walk outside can provide grounding and self-awareness when conflict arises? Today, I want to invite you to unplug and take a mindfulness break with me. We’re going to use Healthier Generation’s new Nature-Based BINGO Card. It’s a resource you can share with families, but for today, I want...Read More

10 Tips to Include Expanded Learning in Program Planning

This is a shout out to School and District Leaders, and everyone doing the work planning for a safe return to school in the Fall. The following list of 10 promising practices reflects what I have learned and experienced over the past 15+ years working in an ASES Expanded Learning Program, as we are classically known to be an afterthought. Just as you School and District Leaders are, we, your local Expanded Learning Program, are proactively planning for a successful student-centered school year. ...Read More

How to cheat at Zoom!

With the transition to online learning, meetings, and trainings, platforms like Zoom have been getting a lot of attention. The definition of Zooming has been expanded beyond just moving quickly, to also mean that state of participation in web-based video calls. Zoom Bombing and Zoom Fatigue have become things we are aware of – things that were not on our radar at all just 4 months ago. So how do you Zoom all day? Really, this was a big question that came up in our household. My daughter wa...Read More