Breakfast Club Blog

How to Talk with Kids About Grades

Whether kids tend to earn A’s, B’s, C’s, or F’s, kids often define “who they are” based on the grades they receive. “I’m an A-student.” “I’m not very smart.” “I’m an average student.” Unfortunately, when kids label themselves based on grades, it can have a negative impact on their self-esteem — even for “A-students.” If they bring home an A, they feel great about themselves. If they bring home a C, they get down on themselves. Creeper picture of a dude’s shadow and face Creeper picture of ...Read More

Growing Grit: G = MC3

You may have heard of Albert Einstein’s famous equation on his theory of relativity… E = MC2. Our slightly less-famous equation on our theory of grittiness is… G stands for Grit I first learned about “grit” from John Wayne (True Grit – 1969 Western), but it took educational research rock star Angela Lee Duckworth (author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance) to make “grit” a buzzword in education, and a fundamental targeted outcome for our own afterschool programs. Duckwort...Read More

How More Play Leads to More Learning (Part 3)

In this 3-part series we will explore how more play, creative expression, and movement can lead to more cognitive development. The link from body to brain is powerful, so getting kids to move more and study a little less throughout the day may seem counterintuitive, but it may actually lead to better grades and even improve behavior!  In part 3 we will discuss how specific forms of exercise affect brain development.  If you missed them, see Part 1 and Part 2. The idea of stepping back from acade...Read More

My Moments at BOOST that Left Me Wanting More

We recently asked our BOOST Leadership and Blogging Teams to share their favorite memory and why they volunteer to be a team member of the BOOST Conference. Perhaps you will be a volunteer, Ambassador or Breakfast Club Blogger for BOOST in 2018. Enjoy! Definitely the very first time I attended the BOOST Conference. The energy was through the roof and everyone was so eager to work together. I’ve been back every year since. – Daniel W. Hatcher, MPH | Director, Community Partnerships, Allianc...Read More

STEM Ready America Report Shows Off Afterschool STEM Learning

The story of the year in afterschool STEM learning just might have come out this week in Washington, DC. At the National Press Club, people from all corners of the afterschool STEM world gathered to learn about STEM Ready America, a new report on afterschool STEM that effectively defines the national paradigm for activities in the field. Program leaders and policy thinkers, corporate and non-profit executives and funders, STEM educators and researchers from all levels discussed, reviewed, and en...Read More

Moveable Game Jams

This Breakfast Club blog post is a follow-up to Afterschool Game Jams! which I wrote last August 2016. In it, I described what game jams are, including the “Moveable Game Jam” initiative. Much has happened since then, and I am excited to share it all with the BOOST community! What Are Game Jams, Anyway? Game jams typically take place over a weekend, and involve a theme, or specific content area. For example, this spring, NOAA is hosting an Arctic Climate Game Jam, in which participan...Read More

Afterschool Programs: Expanding the Definition of Success

As a father of two girls ages 7 and 10, married to an amazing educator of over 20 years, I have a 360-degree perspective of the teaching and learning experience. As a matter of fact, my 4th grade daughter is my wife’s student. It’s a complete family affair. Most people I share that with have an initial reaction of concern. The most common questions are, “How is that working out for your daughter? Isn’t that weird for her? Does she feel challenged?” All these have me...Read More

How More Play Leads to More Learning (Part 2)

In this 3-part series we will explore how more play, creative expression, and movement can lead to more cognitive development. The link from body to brain is powerful, so getting kids to move more and study a little less throughout the day may seem counterintuitive, but it may actually lead to better grades and even improve behavior! In part 2 we will explore the mechanisms behind the power of movement to improve the brain. If you missed Part 1, click here.  So how is it possible that more time ...Read More

Creating a More Connected World Through Local Agriculture: 9 Voices

Imagine if we, above all else, prioritized creating a more connected world. If we blend and integrate our passions, what innovations will we discover? What challenges would we overcome? To celebrate National Nutrition Month, this article explores how local agriculture can help foster social connectedness. To do this, I spoke with youth and adults representing urban and rural communities, non-profits, business and government and education agencies. Each brings a perspective that explores linkages...Read More

How More Play Leads to More Learning (Part 1)

In this 3-part series we will explore how more play, creative expression, and movement can lead to more cognitive development. The link from body to brain is powerful, so getting kids to move more and study a little less throughout the day may seem counterintuitive, but it may actually lead to better grades and even improve behavior! Today in part 1 we’ll showcase some surprising studies and real world examples of how this focus on movement has created dramatic results in learning and beha...Read More

Nurturing Lifelong Philanthropy: Inspiring Youth to Share Their Time, Talent, and Treasure

Over the past five years I’ve had the pleasure of talking to many adults that mentor youth through their programs. Audiences come from a variety of youth-serving organizations including school and afterschool programs, foundations supporting youth leadership, and even children’s choirs and museums! Most of these adults have something in common; they learned philanthropic behaviors (giving and serving) by seeing the actions of an adult in their own lives. Many times that person is a p...Read More

STEM Ready America Report Shows Off Afterschool STEM Learning

The story of the year in afterschool STEM learning just might have come out this week in Washington, DC. At the National Press Club, people from all corners of the afterschool STEM world gathered to learn about STEM Ready America, a new report on afterschool STEM that effectively defines the national paradigm for activities in the field. Program leaders and policy thinkers, corporate and non-profit executives and funders, STEM educators and researchers from all levels discussed, reviewed, and en...Read More