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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Hope Circle: An Opportunity for Creative Movement

Dancing engages nearly all of the brain at once. Just participating in dance is good for the brain, but dance can also be used to intentionally target really important development areas for children. Children can come to see what they are capable of by experiencing the influence they have when they engage in creating dance. One of my favorite creative movement experiences to guide children through, and adults for that matter, is the “Hope Circle” experience. I first participated in a...Read More

Don’t look at the chipped paint on the walls…

Even I have to admit, it’s easy it is to be distracted professionally by things that are relatively unimportant to our organization’s overall goals. How do we as executive and organizational leaders refocus our minds on what gives us joy in our work lives while also driving us towards our mission? This seems to be especially important as we deal with the lingering impact of the pandemic and start the process of emerging out of the collective fog that has permeated many classrooms, organizations,...Read More

Focus on Reflection for Learning

Reflection For Educators You want this! A reflective practice is learning through and from experience towards gaining new insights of self and practice (Finlay, 2008). Reflection is a systematic reviewing process for all educators which allows us to link one experience to the next, making sure students make progress. Using reflection as an intentional practice is not only great for students, but also imperative for educators because it show us how much a student is a) paying attention b) if they...Read More

Making Fitness Fun in After-School Programs

Exercise is an essential part of a healthy childhood and young adult life, and after-school programs are encouraging America’s youth to get moving and build healthy lifestyle habits. While working out and exercises are crucial for a child’s well-being, it can be challenging to find activities that kids actually enjoy. After-school program directors have to work extra hard to create an exciting and unique curriculum for kids. In this article, we dissect the reasons that exercise is so critical fo...Read More

Finding the S.P.A.R.K. Beyond Trauma

Did you know that BOOST has been offering trainings, workshops, and learning communities online over the past year? Many of our past sessions are available for rewatch on our YouTube page, with new videos added regularly. We currently have over 100 free educational videos for you to enjoy! On July 30, 2020, Ashley Hunt of The SPARK Initiative shared resources that you can use with the student and community populations you serve. The SPARK Initiative is a non-profit organization with a mission to...Read More

From a Learning Disability to a Ph.D.: A Life-Changing Journey

As I opened an email titled “Congratulations! Your dissertation is approved.” I felt tears of happiness slowly running down my cheeks. I smiled, closed my eyes, and took a long, deep breath. It had been a long and difficult journey, but somehow, I felt that it was only a beginning – of a new era, the one where I officially had no reason to doubt myself. “I am a doctor now,” I thought to myself. “I did it, I proved them all wrong.” For as long as I can remember I was told that I wasn’t good enoug...Read More

Your Summer on Mars – Afterschool Enrichment

Ah, summer! A time for exploration, inspiration, and in afterschool – enrichment. Especially after this last challenging year, kids and leaders alike are in need of refreshing, inspiring things to learn and experience. Why not spend the summer on Mars, at least virtually? With temperatures heating up around the country, thinking about Mars may help cool you down. In Martian summers, the surface temperature can occasionally be what we’d call “comfortable” here on Earth, but on the same night can ...Read More

We’ve All Got a Spark. Let’s Light a Fire!

We have the power to light a fire in every child with whom we work. It only takes one person to change a child’s life. Think back on your educational influences and you will likely find someone who lit a fire in you that still burns today. Across the country I’ve asked leaders, “What childhood science experiences do you remember?” People share about baking soda volcanoes, science fairs, field trips, and dissections that lit a spark in them. I never hear about textbooks. D...Read More

Are You Listening? Leading with Care

They’re not listening to me! It’s a common complaint, especially when working with kids (though it’s said about adults, too!). I’m always fascinated by it. When the person is asking for help with the “problem,” I first ask, “Are you telling them what to do?” The response varies from “Well, yeah!” to “What do you mean by that?” What do I mean? I recently had the opportunity to return to a site for a few weeks—from beginning to end of the school day—and it has me thinking about what it means to le...Read More

Hanging in the BOOST Live Podcast Lounge

My drive to work definitely changed this year. With my kids Zooming from home, I was all alone on the daily commute—no need for our “Drive to School” playlist, seasonal playlist, or our Disney sing-a-long. I took the opportunity to use my car time to wisely—PODCASTS. Over the past year I delved into the stock market with Snacks Daily (okay, I did originally think the podcast was about snacks – not snack size stock tips – but hey, it’s still a good podcast). I improved my running tech...Read More

Calming Back-to-School Jitters for LGBTQ Youth

Will I make friends? What if I get lost? Will I like my teachers? What if I do something embarrassing? These are the back to school jitters we’re used to helping youth navigate. We have all kinds of strategies to help young people feel comfortable in their new classroom or after school program — putting their name on a desk or name tag, icebreakers, activities that encourage youth to get to know each other — the list is endless. But consider the young person who is unsure of his or h...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