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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Cardboard Cut-outs, Story Time, & Makeshift Doc Cams: Creating Some Semblance of Normalcy

Last night our family assembled on the couch to watch opening day baseball. We donned our orange and black, took a few selfies, and watched our beloved San Francisco Giants be trounced by our biggest rival. An otherwise empty Dodger Stadium had fan cut-outs positioned in the stands most visible for the TV-viewing audience. They piped in crowd noise. Major League Baseball was trying to give the players and the fans as normal an experience as possible on opening day in July. Normalcy, or some semb...Read More

An empty basketball court…

Prior to this spring, I had all of these ideas rolling around in my head about this next blog post. Would it be about standardized testing (a normal spring occurrence) or preparing your English Learner (EL) for summer? Would it be a post about connecting EL families to school and making them feel welcome? Then, around mid-March, we all began talking about something else… Did you see that they closed Italy? Did you see that there are COVID-19 cases in Washington State? Did you see they held that ...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

Taking a Pause for Equity

Slow down to move fast. Sounds counterintuitive, right? But knowing when to press pause is a critical decision that all leaders face. Here are some thoughts on why taking a break is the right thing for all leaders right now. As leaders in expanded learning, we often evaluate our practices against a set of criteria, perhaps aligned with a specific grant, or internal goals and objectives. What if instead, we took a step back and really looked at how our efforts and decisions impact the very commun...Read More

Focusing on the Three Rs this Summer

In a recent principal training, a participant raised his hand and asked a question I have heard too often: “How can I afford to invest in SEL (social-emotional learning) when my students have fallen so far behind?” I struggled to maintain my composure. This principal had been in at least three brain development workshops that unpacked the connections across the social, emotional, and cognitive functions of our limbic system. According to our biology, learning is a social and emotional process – ...Read More

Boldly Digging into Diversity

In a large urban district like Metro Nashville Public Schools, my biracial children felt rather comfortable. There were other brown faces in their classrooms. For the most part, they didn’t stand out as “different.” Of course, they did encounter the occasional question about ethnicity from a peer. One of my sons even had a white teacher treat him unfairly because of the color of his skin. But, for the most part, my kids felt like they belonged in their diverse schools. When my kids transferred t...Read More

Hey Afterschool Leaders, We’ve Been Called In

Most of us are compelled to work in afterschool programs because we want to empower youth, nurture young talent, even level the playing field. Despite doing this important work daily, we are painfully aware that the conditions of schools, neighborhoods, and economies just never change. So, we find ourselves, though well-intended, propping up a system that still doesn’t equitably serve all the people in this country. As agency leaders, we are witness to, and work daily against, the pressures, pol...Read More

Expanding Our Commitments to Brothers in Out-of-School Time

This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on March 24, 2015. Learn more about the current work of MBK, here. A year ago February [February 2014], President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (MBK). The goal of MBK was to lift up and strengthen any and all efforts that were “helping more young men of color stay on track. Providing the support they need to think more broadly about their future. Building on what works, when it works, in those critical life-...Read More

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

This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on June 9, 2017. 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 – ...Read More

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