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 BOOST Breakfast Club Blog is Brain Food for In and Out-of-School Time Leaders!

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Existential Crisis

“Feelings of loneliness and insignificance in the face of nature are common in existential crises.” This is the sentence I tracked when I Googled “My job is being disrupted.” I saw a picture of a man in a suit standing on a rock on the edge of an ocean. In this case, the ocean is not the force of nature that makes us feel insignificant. It’s each other. This virus that we may or may not be carrying inside us is a force of nature for which we have not prepared. People who work in the people busin...Read More

Supporting Young Creatives in a Time of Global Crisis

We have all shared this experience of navigating the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Tough decisions were made to close schools and community facilities. Parents and educators are learning to operate in a new virtual space. Layoffs have been made. There is new federal and state legislation to help communities cope. Through this all, our communities have seen tremendous creation from young artists, theatre-makers, musicians, and dancers. Spoken word performances on social media and virtu...Read More

Flipping The Script: Laying The Groundwork For A More Powerful Advocacy Force

In our work, there are always limited resources. This can, unfortunately, put those working toward the same goals at odds—competing for members, for donors, for grants, or for state or federal funding. This is the case for many nonprofits and afterschool providers and has been the plight of afterschool and child care advocates for years. The constant need for increased public investment has led our two groups to sometimes feel as though a win for one is an automatic loss for the other. This has ...Read More

Encourage Staff Well-Being: 3 Things to Try This Week

I recently spoke at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Conference alongside partners from the National Summer Learning Association, Afterschool Alliance, and Grow Appalachia. A common theme of our 3 workshops was the interconnectedness of physical health and social-emotional health to promote overall well-being. While at the NRPA Conference, we released an exciting new brief, Afterschool: Fostering Protective Factors that Can Last a Lifetime. The resource emphasizes the importan...Read More

3 Easy Ways To Be A Changemaker! It Makes Cents

Editor’s Note: Welcome new Breakfast Club Blogger, Femi Vance, Researcher at American Institutes for Research and President of the Board of Directors for CAL SAC. Femi is a youth development expert with over 15 years of experience. She currently works as a researcher and trainer focused on improving after-school program quality and outcomes, and helping OST professionals. She has a Ph.D. in Education from UC Irvine specializing in after-school development, and an M.P.P. from Johns Hopkins....Read More

Traveling, Speaking And Collaborating For Future Education Equity: A Report From The Road

This blog is being republished with permission from TGR Foundation. It was originally posted on November 1st, 2018.   —————————————————————————————————————————————————– October presented me with multi...Read More

Oops! I Hired The Wrong Person: How To Hire The Right Afterschool Teacher

  Reviewing resumes, setting up interviews and hiring new employees is a routine task for afterschool directors and supervisors; however, failure to recognize signs of a possible lousy hire can reap damaging consequences for your afterschool program. Selecting the right candidate cannot be a hit or miss. Frontline staff plays a critical role in ensuring students are learning in a safe and supportive environment. While experienced leaders understand that everyone has a learning curve, season...Read More

Connection Before Content

Author, storyteller, and researcher, Brené Brown defines connection “as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” Sit with that for a minute. We are all wired for connection. While it’s true that a connection can happen organically as the activity moves along, the practice of intentionality is a key to ensuring real connection and authenticity....Read More

Translating Is Not Modifying: Tips for Teaching English Learners

Editor’s Note: Welcome first-time BOOST Blogger Lesley Morgan.  Lesley is an English Learning Specialist in West Virginia.  She works with students (K-12) and has been teaching for seventeen years. Lesley is also an Adjunct Faculty for Marshall University.   —– As I stood in front of the classroom of 40 Japanese boys and girls, I paused. Inside I was terrified and my thoughts were racing: What had I done?  Why had I left my family to live in a foreign land? Was this even going ...Read More

What Can Expanded Learning Do To Improve College Access?

There you are. It’s June and you’re sitting at a graduation watching a former student from your program dressed in cap and gown ready to cross a stage into the future. Imagine, for a moment, all the people that went into ensuring those students cross that stage? An innumerable amount of hours went into looking at transcripts, meeting with students, and talking to parents. But what can expanded learning programs do to improve college access for their students? Here’s something to consider: what r...Read More

How Do You Provide Youth Voice and Choice? 

When program providers in the Expanded Learning Field are asked if they incorporate youth voice and choice, the answer is often a quick “yes” or “of course.”  This blog is about digging a little deeper into what incorporating youth voice and choice can look like, beyond some of the traditional practices. I am a firm believer that our field of work is all about providing services and learning environments where young people feel both physically and emotionally safe. And in turn, youth are more li...Read More

Are You Leading With WHY?

What gets you out of bed in the morning — what you do or why you do it? If you are in the youth development field, I have a feeling that your “why” motivates you the most. You’re driven to make a positive difference in the lives of young people. In his book “Start with Why,” Simon Sinek argues that we are pretty good at saying what we are doing and how we are doing it, but not always good at explaining the why of what we do. His message to the business community: making the why clear can i...Read More

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