Breakfast Club Blog

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

3 Great Opportunities to Blast off the New School Year

It’s that time again! All across the country, youth are getting ready to embrace the new school year and after-school programs are transitioning from summer learning to fall programming. I have found that a new school year is like a blank journal just waiting for an author’s special touch. It is an opportunity to expand upon an existing story, transform the direction of the story, or create something totally new. I wanted to share three thoughts to consider as you begin the new school year: 1. W...Read More

Back-to-School: Pencils and Possibilities

I love pencils. Freshly sharpened, classic #2 pencils. I love the smell of a freshly-sharpened pencil. I love the way a sharp pencil feels on a thick, new notebook. I love the way you can erase away anything you don’t like with a pencil. I love the way pencils will smudge my fingers. I love the eraser dust that fills the page. Fresh pencils also bring with them all of the feelings of back-to-school. Here in Indiana, the dawn of a new school year is already upon us:  School buses are shining in t...Read More

Out-of-School Time Staff – What do you get to do?

Hello Breakfast Club readers & leaders! As we approach August and get closer to launching the 2017/2018 school year, I wanted to share a speech I was asked to do for a CAL SAC leadership event in June, in Los Angeles. I am hoping this helps motivate and inspire you and your staff to appreciate all you GET to do. They come to us filled with hormones, under-resourced, confused, academically behind, overstimulated and oversexualized, underfed, tired and with poor hygiene. They are bullied, they...Read More

The Music of Life:  An Ode to the World

I was thinking recently about how two of my favorite sounds in the world are completely different. The first is the sound of birds singing and chirping—particularly the spring birds in the early morning. The second is the sound of an Indy race car as it speeds around the track. I love both of these sounds so much. Yet one is so gentle and the other is so strong. It seems like they should be in opposition to each other. But in reality I think they are examples of the stunning beauty of this world...Read More

People Aren’t Flies: How Youth Can Listen Without Needing to Be Heard

We have all experienced a time when we believed we had a genuine connection with a person, only to find out that they had a specific agenda in mind. We have all experienced someone that has tried to proselytize or preach at us, to use us to get ahead, or to gain access to our friends or family members. For many people, what starts out as a genuine connection dissolves almost instantly as soon as the sirens of topics such as politics or religion are sounded. We know how difficult it can be to hav...Read More

It’s Time to Reframe the Narrative around Black Youth — and Youth Work Has Some Tools to Do So

His name is Jordan Edwards. And Jayson Negron. And Darius Smith. He was fifteen years old. He was unarmed at the time of his untimely demise at the hands of law enforcement. He was a young man of color caught on the wrong side of the thin line between potential and death. He should be participating in a summer jobs program, playing hoops at the Y, or compiling an initial list of colleges. He – Jordan, Jayson, and Darius – should have turned sixteen. This past spring has brought a rash of extraju...Read More

Commencement

On behalf of the BOOST Breakfast Club, congratulations to all the graduates across the nation in 2017! This post from @erikap is so beautiful and well written, we wanted to #repost this heartfelt message. We believe the message is universal. Enjoy! As spring has officially given way to summer and academics have been replaced by pools and bike rides, I’ve been thinking about commencement speeches. Students across the country have been hearing them, whether graduating from high school or col...Read More

Foiled: Lesson Learned!

I went face-to-face this weekend with the single most evil thing in the face of parenting and humanity. The thing that makes you come face-to-face with your faults and imperfections, which reminds you that you are undeserving to even be taking up space in the room in which you are currently standing. The thing that tests you to your human limits. When I die, if I end up in hell, my particular level will have me wrangling this thing 24 hours a day. It answers to a few different names. Saran wrap....Read More

#SupportAfterschool! Written by An Out of School Time OG

In support of the Afterschool Alliance’s advocacy work to help raise awareness for out of school time programs across the nation, we are re-posting a note written by Thierry Gonzalez from a Facebook post. Proceeds from every purchase will go to the Afterschool Alliance to support the defense of after-school funding in the face of devastating proposed cuts. Your fashion statement will help millions of kids across America! “A brief explanation of why I have started the website www.supp...Read More

So, Maybe I Don’t Have It All Together…

So, maybe I don’t have it all together… Boom. Boom. Boom. The sound of little feet running through the room. “Walking feet,” I automatically shout. “Do we have more paper?” “Where are the scissors?” “Ms. Lexi, Ms. LEXI!” These sounds surround me. The Issue I don’t always answer every question correctly. I often forget to buy more paper. And, I can’t hold twenty conversations at the same time (despite my kids’ best efforts to help me with that). But today I am choosing to be thankful that I don’t...Read More

Keep The Channel Open

I’ve been sitting in contemplation of this quote by dancer/choreographer Martha Graham for a few weeks now: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with...Read More