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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Creation Nation: Youth Work

Tenth time starting a program for a new school year, sixth time creating systems and building relationships with the same team, fifth year pursuing life with the same partner and first year enjoying it all alongside my daughter. When Harper Rose was born I thought it may be the end of my life as a youth worker. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend six glorious months with my baby and help her adjust to this ‘brave new world’. To my surprise on the fifth month, I began checking ...Read More

Arriving in Holland

There is a very special story written by Emily Perl Kingsley in1987. She tells about planning a fabulous trip to Italy, learning the language and buying the guidebooks, but then landing in Holland instead. At first she’s disappointed because everyone else she knows is going to Italy. Because she’s arrived in Holland, she has to learn a different language and buy different guidebooks and meet different people. Soon she discovers that Holland has windmills, and tulips, and Rembrandts. ...Read More

Who You Are Speaks Louder than Anything You Can Say

A troubled mother took her daughter to see Mohandas Gandhi, who was world-renowned for his great spiritual discipline. It seems the young girl had become addicted to eating sweets, and her mother wanted Gandhi to speak to her about this harmful habit and convince her to drop it. Upon hearing this request, Gandhi paused in silence and then told the mother, “Bring the girl back to me in three weeks and I will speak to her then.” Just as she was instructed, the mother returned with her ...Read More

4 Quick Thoughts on Leadership

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” –Abraham Lincoln I love people who push themselves to perform at the highest level possible. Because I’m a child of the 80’s, where we proudly rocked mullets and tight rolled our jeans, I think about Michael Jordan. The game was over and you’d find him in the gym shooting 500 free throws. He had an internal drive to do better. He wanted to be the best he could be. Because I can actually hear your staff and students banging on your ...Read More

Breakthroughs @ BOOST

It wasn’t until the ride back from Palm Springs that I began to absorb my most recent BOOST experience. BOOST, for me, has been the metaphor for the movement of afterschool. BOOST has become a type of gauge of the movement. Whether it’s the number of participants, the quality of workshops, the keynote, I have always been able to use BOOST as a diagnostic for the movement. This was the first year that I went alone with no team, no training to prepare for, or no real “role”...Read More

We ARE the hope we’ve been waiting for!

A career? After School? What?! Yes folks, believe it or not, the career pathways in youth work are out there! It is not an esoteric profession that only a few elite have access to. It is much attainable for anyone that is willing to work, network and advocate for youth. However, there is a sub-culture among the youth work movement that has been lost in the bureaucratic educational methods of the past and is unable to create a new definition of the craft. This discernment of the ‘work’...Read More

Best Practices in Afterschool: A Call for Mentorship

Due to the nature of my job, I visit a lot of afterschool programs throughout the country. A common element I’ve noticed at any program, whether they are in schools, community buildings, or churches, is the smell. It is the same no matter where I go. There’s always a hint of disinfectant, perhaps some body odor if it’s a middle school program, crayons, paint, chalkboards, whiteboard markers, or computer labs (I don’t know what that smell is, but there is definitely someth...Read More

Don’t Curse in Front of Kids: Improving Staff Development

I’m going to tell you a story, which I hope has something to do with after school. When I was 21, I went to Cameroon, West Africa to teach elementary school. This might have been a bad idea – I’d never taught anyone anything, had a spotty reputation as a babysitter, and was more comfortable with dogs than kids. But, I knew more about kids than about irrigation systems or artificially inseminating cows so it seemed like my best option to get to Africa. I was signed up to teach E...Read More