Breakfast Club Blog

COVID-19 Academic Schedule

What a crazy time!! Everything is out of quack, that is why now, more than ever, children need an academic schedule. When things are out of hand, a schedule is something that is consistent and makes the unpredictable a little more normal. Within each time frame there is a general topic: reading, math, STEM, etc. that sets up an expectation that during a certain time of the day attention will be dedicated to that topic. What students learn within that hour should have student input. Allowing stud...Read More

Youth Participatory Evaluation: An Opportunity to Promote Youth Development and Program Improvement (Webinar #1)

In 2019, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) hosted a free, two-part webinar series designed to support next-gen leadership and giving. The first webinar, “Youth Participatory Evaluation: An Opportunity to Promote Youth Development and Program Improvement,” explored concepts of Youth Participatory Evaluation (YPE) with Dr. Lori Palen of RTI International’s Center on Social Determinants, Risk Behaviors, and Prevention Science. Sharing Indiana examples of youth evaluative processes that included y...Read More

Are You Focusing Too Much on What Is and Not Enough on What Could Be?

As a leader, no matter how many decisions you make or actions you take, nothing matters as much as your ability to bring people with different experiences and interests together in a common purpose that gives them a clear sense of direction and drives them toward excellence. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in your organization for some time, there’s a reason you’ve been given the opportunity to be in your position at this time in your life — and it’s likely to be more importa...Read More

Focus on the 4Cs

I’m addicted to podcasts. They are my friend on long commutes and I’ve learned so much about so many random topics from Mars exploration to discoveries deep in the ocean. Every one of them leaves me curious and eager to learn more. One of my favorites is How I Built This, with Guy Raz. Because I’m an educator, I lose myself for miles listening to stories about the masterminds who had an idea they took all the way to a successful business. How did they do it? Why did they persist when others gave...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

C.A.L.M.M Classroom Break – 5 Simple Chair Poses to Calm The Chaos

Educators, you know that moment when the energy in your classroom feels like utter chaos and you imagine yourself running out of the room and never looking back?! We’ve all had those moments when our students are distracted, dysregulated, and disconnected and it feels as if whatever you say is going in one ear and out the other. Most likely this is actually the case. When children’s nervous systems are dysregulated, their pre-frontal cortex can tend to be offline. The prefrontal cortex is implic...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

What Is So Special About After School?

After 20+ years of working in after school, I have learned that there are many things that make after school special. Some might be apparent, but others might be less obvious. One go-to resource for me is information from the Afterschool Alliance, This is Afterschool, which reminds us of all of the benefits of after school. They sum it up in a few words. “Decades of research prove afterschool helps kids attend school more often, get better grades, and build foundational skills, like communicatio...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

5 Books I Wish I Read In School

One of my biggest problems with education today is the lack of practical knowledge, meaningful skill-building, and experiential learning in favor of what is easy to measure. These five books would have really moved the needle for me. The Inner Game of Tennis, by W. Timothy Gallwey Why This book would have solved all my underconfidence, self-doubt, and overthinking in class, sports, and relationships. Not to mention all of the benefits it has provided me in business (even though I only finished i...Read More

Mindset: An After-School Legacy from Kobe Bryant

Kobe “Bean” Bryant was one of the youngest players to enter the National Basketball Association (NBA), at 18 years of age. He played 20 years for one of the greatest sports franchises in the history of professional sports, the Los Angeles Lakers. He was a five-time NBA World Champion, two-time Men’s Basketball Gold Medalist, twice the Most Valuable Player of the NBA Finals. He was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2008. He became one of Nike’s greatest ambassadors, next only to...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