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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Building Strong Self-Esteem – Teaching Kids to be Their Own BFF

There’s nothing like best friends – They see the best in you, believe in you, and pick you up when you feel down. Wouldn’t it be great if your BFF was always with you? And wouldn’t it be great if our children’s BFF was always with them as well? Well that can happen, when you become your own BFF! Now this might sound a little silly but please hear me out. Teaching kids to become their own BFF is the secret behind strong self-esteem. The key is to teach them about the power of positive self-talk. ...Read More

Ensuring Access to Nutritious Meals During School Closures Due to COVID-19

As schools remain closed due to COVID-19 — and with many states announcing that they will stay closed for the rest of the school year — communities in every state are working together to fill the nutrition gap created by the absence of traditional school meals. During unexpected school closures, school districts and other program providers can use the federally funded Summer Nutrition programs to provide meals to students at no cost as a replacement for school meals. Additionally, the U.S. Depar...Read More

Supporting Young Creatives in a Time of Global Crisis

We have all shared this experience of navigating the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Tough decisions were made to close schools and community facilities. Parents and educators are learning to operate in a new virtual space. Layoffs have been made. There is new federal and state legislation to help communities cope. Through this all, our communities have seen tremendous creation from young artists, theatre-makers, musicians, and dancers. Spoken word performances on social media and virtu...Read More

When OST Comes Home: What Happens, What Counts, and What Matters?

Both the evidence from the science of learning and common sense tell us that learning and development occur all the time. But typically, opportunities for learning and development are shared and spread over various spaces, places, and delivery modes in schools, community organizations, and families. But ten days ago, most of those places were abruptly shut down – schools were closed, OST programs shuttered, and parks were ordered emptied. Yet learning and development didn’t stop. Millions of fam...Read More

Connection: The Intangible Quality of OST

The first entry in Webster’s Dictionary under the word “Intangible” is “not tangible”. That isn’t really very helpful, is it? The definition under the second entry is in two parts. The first part is “an asset (such as goodwill) that is not corporeal.” (You’re going to have to look up “corporeal” on your own, I’m not going to do all the work for you!) The second part of the second entry is where we’ll focus. Here is our working definition of the word intangible: “an abstract quality or attribute....Read More

Enhancing SEO in the After School Space

The purpose of student engagement and outreach (SEO) is to provide holistic student-centered programs and services that enhance student life. Creating lasting memories through community engagement, connection building, and creative exploration is what after school is all about! Strong attendance with engaged students are signs of a successful after school program. It means that your program is inclusive, interesting, and valuable for children and parents alike. On the other hand, a lack of solid...Read More

Creating A Space To Learn: 3 Essential Steps

The foundation of learning happens in spaces where youth feel safe, seen, and respected. Unfortunately, all learning environments are not developed with this in mind. The structural evolution of today’s K-12 classrooms has made little progress over the years. As youth practitioners and educators, we have the opportunity every day to support a more equitable learning environment by laying the groundwork, before youth enter our doors. It is an incredible responsibility for one person. Therefore, w...Read More

Staff Meetings: Lackluster To Brilliant

When was the last time you left a staff meeting thinking, “Wow, that was a great staff meeting!” Are those crickets I hear? Believe it or not, just the other day I left the office thinking just that. How you ask? This is how… Staff participated. Staff dictated the pace of the meeting. Staff cared. Here are the things that make our staff meetings successful. Strategic & planned ahead: The staff meeting was planned with a goal that the team could accomplish – something small and at...Read More

SEL and Leadership? Let’s Get Loud!

SEL, SEL, SEL… social-emotional learning! Kids need it! All kids, not only marginalized youth– for some reason people think that (duh)! But all kids need it… rich, poor, students of color, white kids, urban, rural, and suburban kids, indigenous, affluent, English Learners, deprived traumatized kids, special needs, and seemingly normal kids (whatever that is). There’s this HUGE push for educators to implement social-emotional learning into classrooms and in expanding learning organiza...Read More

Working With The SIFE English Learner Student

Have a new student?  Are they a Student with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE)? New students enroll all the time. Generally, there is an uptick in enrollments around the semester change (just after winter holidays/New Year) or other major holidays. I have received new EL (English Learner) students just after Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year, and Easter/Spring breaks. There are many reasons for this, but no matter what, that new EL student is standing in your classroom/after-school progra...Read More

Flipping The Script: Laying The Groundwork For A More Powerful Advocacy Force

In our work, there are always limited resources. This can, unfortunately, put those working toward the same goals at odds—competing for members, for donors, for grants, or for state or federal funding. This is the case for many nonprofits and afterschool providers and has been the plight of afterschool and child care advocates for years. The constant need for increased public investment has led our two groups to sometimes feel as though a win for one is an automatic loss for the other. This has ...Read More

3 Family Engagement Resources to Try this Month

Community gatherings, potlucks, and school parties are great opportunities to re-engage the caregivers, older siblings, and families that your program supports year-round. These events, in addition to being fun and light-hearted, can build protective and supportive factors for families and children experiencing adversity. The benefit of out-of-school time goes beyond the social-emotional to the physical needs of families. According to the Afterschool Alliance, more than 4 in 5 parents in communi...Read More