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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Mic Drop! Celebrating Creative Youth Development

One of my favorite parts of youth development and out-of-school time programs is when we provide spaces for students to CREATE. If anything, this past year and a half has unearthed the importance of providing healing spaces and room for self-expression. As youth development professionals, we can’t turn away from the fact that our students (and us!) have individually and collectively faced grief, turmoil, anger, confusion, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Take that in for a minute. It’s heavy...Read More

Should Everyone Get a Trophy?

When I was a kid, the winning team took home the trophy, and the MVP got the medal. That was that. When my kids were growing up, everyone got a trophy. There was no MVP because they all succeeded and did their best. I see the value of both, especially when you’re talking about young children.  There should never be losers when you work in the nonprofit sector, especially with kids, because all kids win when everyone gets the trophy.  Here’s why. This past summer, our organization formed a strate...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

Illuminating The Beauty-FULL in You

In a post called “Beautiful” in On Wings & Whimsy: Finding The Extraordinary Within The Ordinary, I remember a story wherein my then-three-year-old daughter ponders whether or not she is “beautiful.” Whether or not she is “anything.” It made me shudder, even back then, how prevalent the culture of comparison is, and how from such a young age we judge our worth against the approval or disapproval of others. And I was thinking about it again recently because I saw a funny-true meme that remind...Read More

Bring a Strength-Based Approach to the Way You Communicate

Recently, I was reading program descriptions and program plans which included goals. As always, I was impressed with and proud of what afterschool program staff are able to accomplish and what they strive to do. One thing gave me pause. Deficit language reared its ugly head in more than a few of the program descriptions and plans. I realized that as a field we often talk about using a strength-based approach in our program activities and in our relationships with youth and family. Yet, we have h...Read More

Recovery – Coming Back from Being Down

Recently I recovered from a pretty intense back injury. I have accelerated degeneration in the discs of my upper back and lower spine areas. The injury prevented me from exercising for over two years. I consider myself a strong athlete and competitor in many sports. The news of my injury was hard to digest and felt terrible. When I incurred the injury, I was not only physically impaired but something happened to me mentally as well —my confidence went downhill. I had a lot of recovery work to do...Read More

The Year without Hugs

2020 began with a shock for me. I learned that Mary Jo Ginty had died in her sleep December 29, 2019. A month later, I was among the friends and family who gathered in Long Beach to celebrate her life. I was grateful to be in a room with others who loved her. We shared our grief, our treasured memories, and a lot of hugs. My friend Michael Funk shared a story about how Mary Jo was not a hugger. She doled out hugs frugally. You had to earn them. I never got one, but I know she loved me as much as...Read More

Knitting Connections

This last year has shown us how important relationships are in every aspect of our lives, from walking by someone’s desk on the way to the bathroom to meeting up with friends at a local brewery. We are all missing the social connections that relationships provide. But, I, for one, have liked the time away from the busy-ness and from social events – it has given me time to myself to focus on other things, like KNITTING! Granted, I haven’t made anything more substantial than a scarf, but I l...Read More

Be Like Spring

Ah!! I love spring. Everything has gotten so green, just in the last week, and suddenly buds are bursting out of the ground and off of the branches. The grass is growing like crazy. Morning birds welcome us with their non-stop melodies. The days are lighter longer. Windows are open. Fruit and Veggie aisles are more abundant. Sidewalks and playgrounds have come back to life after a dormant winter. The kids have already had multiple splinters and skinned knees. This spring feels even more relievin...Read More

Global Incidental Learning

I’m a big fan of incidental learning. It’s sort of like multi-tasking for educators. Way back when, my classroom had English, French, and Spanish labels taped to walls, cabinets, desks, and other objects throughout the room so my first graders could make connections to those languages during transitions or after completing assignments. By placing these labels around the room, my hope was they would learn these words incidentally during “down times,” or if (gasp) they weren’t paying attention to ...Read More

ExScaredEd: Fear & Excitement of the Unknown

This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on September 5, 2017. My son Dylan just started first grade a few weeks ago. In the weeks leading up to it, he coined a new word to describe how he was feeling: ExScaredEd. A combination of excited and scared, he said that was the best way to express how he was approaching this new year. I love it. I love, love, love it. Since then, he added “ExNerveEd” to describe being excited and nervous, and “ExSKYted” to express being extra-excited. W...Read More

Forty

I am turning forty in July. A tingly sensation creeps into my thoughts as I embrace entering a new phase in my life. A couple of months ago, my sister and I were chatting in my car on our way to the grocery store. We laughed as we remembered the times when we would have sibling talks of the future. We all agreed that Quinten would have a baby first because he was a lover boy; my sister was too shy and reserved–we thought she would never have kids; and everyone thought I would have children...Read More