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.

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Teaching Creativity

A couple of weeks ago, I received a copy of a Newsweek.com story on one of the multiple listservs I receive. I confess, I don’t usually read everything that I receive through a listserv, and often, I will save an article or link “to read when I have time.” This article, however, caught my eye, and I am really grateful I took a further look. Titled The Creativity Crisis: For the First Time, Research Shows that American Creativity is Declining. What Went Wrong—And How We Can Fix ...Read More

Seven Super Tools to Prevent Misbehavior

Super Spaces When you walk into a gymnasium, you behave differently than when you walk into a library. The environment sends cues to the brain about how you should feel and behave. Provide an environment that encourages desirable behavior. The space should say “Play with me!” in a way that clearly defines HOW to play. The way you arrange your space and what you put in your space tells children what types of behavior are expected in that space. Control the environment, not the child. ...Read More

Adolescent Girls and the Media: A Look Beyond the Mirror

Let’s face it- growing up female can be tough, but growing up female in this day and age can be REALLY tough. There are a LOT (and I mean a lot) of unique challenges that adolescent girls face and one of them happens to be the “M” word. What is the “M” word, you ask? Here’s a hint: something that has the ability to impact girls’ perception of themselves and their body image? Any guesses? Well, chances are you probably said media. If you did (and I’...Read More

Summer Style

School’s almost out, and across the country kids are getting ready for summer camp. Back in the day, everyone brought a big trunk, loaded with bug spray and books, bandannas and band aids and of course, secret stashes of candy. There was lots of anticipation about which counselors would be there, which kids would be in your cabin, and what activities you were going to sign up for. Believe it or not, these camps still exist. Sadly, they’re mostly not available to our after school kids...Read More

Reach out to the Gifted in Your After School Programs – Provide the Spark for All to Learn

More than a majority of professional literature and conferences are geared to disadvantaged, underserved, underperforming, and English learner students. We talk about Closing the Achievement Gap. This has been the case for more than a decade. Do we often forget to look at the strengths of students and gear some of our activities to their strengths? Do we actively seek out gifted and above-average learners in our after school population and stretch their thinking? In closing the achievement gap, ...Read More

If I’d Only Known…

Have you ever had an “if only I’d known…” episode? This happened to me when I learned some simple ways I could have helped a hearing-impaired student join my YMCA afterschool program with much less stress and fuss—had I only known. Basically, this is what happened: In the fall of 1999, a father came to my office to register his son and his stepson for our afterschool program. He was newly married, had just moved to the area and had some difficulty completing all the neces...Read More

The Importance of Being Intentional

Sue, an afterschool staff member, races into the school at 2:30 p.m. She came from a school across town where she has been a substitute all day. Sue gives a hurried “hello” to the school administrative assistant as she signs in for the day. Now, Sue runs down to the cafeteria, grabs the snacks, gets the attendance sheets to put on the tables, and figures out what activities are going to be offered to students once they finish homework help and tutoring. She finds some crayons and but...Read More

ABC’s of professional, purposeful, and powerful programming practices

These ABC’s are philosophical foundations. They are new and powerful paradigms. Paradigms are like mental models that we all have about the way things should be done in afterschool programs. These ABC’s might challenge the paradigms or mental models that you might carry in your own mind. We challenge you to consider these shifts and the way you may think about how afterschool programs should be. Autonomy Autonomy is the ability to act independently, to be self-governing. Autonomy is ...Read More

Take Cover, and Be Prepared, Here Comes the Rain

I had 30 minutes to kill this morning after eating my standard: oatmeal, fruit, and 2 eggs breakfast. While waiting for my 13 year old to get her lunch together, I decided to see if I could catch up with local news. (Side bar: Being that I am a busy mom, wife, and full-time professional, I’ve had to cut some non-essential activities out. Currently, I’m on a media fast, meaning I read and watch VERY little news. I actually find that I’m a much more peaceful person, but I digress...Read More

From Changing Lives To Saving Lives

For the past fifteen years I’ve had the privilege of working in the afterschool field as a program director, consultant, policymaker and advocate. I’ve met countless people who are making a huge difference. Students are doing better in school, becoming more enthusiastic about learning, developing positive social relationships, experiencing new things and mastering new skills. There’s no question that afterschool programs change lives. Now it’s time to save lives. Just a f...Read More

After School Programs Need to Keep Improving

I write this post on the heels of spending a day working on the outline of THINK Together’s i3 fund application. Ironically, the Governor is signing AB1130 today which is one of two bills that will make California eligible to compete for Race to the Top Funds (RTTT). The i3 Fund is the companion piece to RTTT in the U.S. Department of Education’s Innovation Fund that Local Educational Agencies’ (LEAs) and non-profit organizations can receive directly. In the i3 guidelines, the ...Read More