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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Funding childcare supports women

Becoming a new mom during a global pandemic has built resilience, patience, and a reckoning. A reckoning with the lack of societal and government support of children and families. A learning that as a result of the pandemic, women are having to make some tough decisions… ones that we’ve been making for decades, but with an added layer of fear. In the U.S., over 2.3 million women have left the labor force since the start of the pandemic, as shown in research done by The Women’s National Law...Read More

Let’s amplify the voice of the expanded learning workforce

When the majority of schools in 2020-21 were closed for in-person learning, who has answered the call? The expanded learning workforce. Some staff at afterschool, summer, and out-of-school-time programs provided supervision and support to children of essential workers and other vulnerable children. Others stepped up to meet families’ basic needs, including meals, technology for distance learning, and referrals to language translation and free COVID-19 testing. Some found missing students and foc...Read More

Your wait time from this point is…

I feel like if 2020 were a ride at Disneyland, it would be Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. There have been hairpin turns, bumps, jolts, and long wait lines. But now, as we move towards the new year, it looks like we can hop off and jump on a new ride. A ride that’s a bit brighter, a ride that has just as long of a line, and may involve a little prick of our skin – not in Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, but a COVID-19 vaccine. The news has been full of reports regarding the trials, approvals, and shipping ...Read More

Looking forward to the end of 2020, preparing for what comes next

Personally, I feel drained by this year’s unpredictability and chaos. I have struggled to balance being present, preparing for what happens next, and not getting lost in too many “what ifs.” Professionally, it’s not much different. With so many urgent daily needs to take care of, it can be hard to make space to think about what will be needed in 2021 and beyond. So recently I did an experiment: I scheduled 1 hour in my day to pause and reflect on the needs of students and families, as well as th...Read More

Find Your Happy Place

I write about energy – whether that is the electricity we use in our homes or the energy we exert when we are physically active. As the Residential Energy Program Manager for a County agency and a part time Aerobics and Laughter instructor, it is all I think about. So much so that if you look closely, you may seem steam coming out of my ears. That is because I am always doing something. In fact, I have a problem saying no. I like to be helpful, I like to feel like part of a team, and I lik...Read More

How Youth Development Programs Have Responded to COVID-19: Creativity, Innovation, and Doing What’s Brave and What’s Right

Defined by lockdowns, face masks, and video conferences, the COVID-19 global pandemic caused the world to shift to an era of physical distancing, at-home and on-line learning, shuttered community organizations, and the possibility of stifled creation for young people around the world. Recently a colleague shared an essay, “A Message of Hope,” by English author Neil Gaiman, in which he describes the unusual moment of panic, disruption, grief, and pause we are collectively experiencing as the COVI...Read More

Self-Care Ideas: Give 1/Get 8 Reboot!

Keeping children at the center of our work means taking care of ourselves. Last year I wrote an article for the BOOST Breakfast Club Blog called Self-Care Ideas: Give 1/Get 8. The idea was to crowdsource ideas from a few educator friends to learn more about the daily self-care practices that help them stay resilient. For this post, I’m excited to share a reboot of that article featuring 7 more friends and their answers to the questions in CASEL’s Give 1/Get 8 worksheet. I hope their ideas inspir...Read More

4 Tips to Cultivating Leaders in Your Organization

The singular most important role of today’s leader is growing those around them. This is not just a lofty goal, but one of intentional thought and commitment. I view nurturing those around me as a benefit not only to our organization but also as a way to develop skills that will lead to success in any organization. Gasp! Yes, I believe it is my duty to shape leaders who may someday join a competing organization. So, where to begin? Leadership development is offered for many reasons. Poor company...Read More

An Invitation to Unplug: 4 Nature-Based Activities

This month, Healthier Generation is celebrating Park and Recreation Month and the essential role greenspace plays in making our lives better. For example, did you know that trees can reduce anxiety and taking a walk outside can provide grounding and self-awareness when conflict arises? Today, I want to invite you to unplug and take a mindfulness break with me. We’re going to use Healthier Generation’s new Nature-Based BINGO Card. It’s a resource you can share with families, but for today, I want...Read More

Taking a Pause for Equity

Slow down to move fast. Sounds counterintuitive, right? But knowing when to press pause is a critical decision that all leaders face. Here are some thoughts on why taking a break is the right thing for all leaders right now. As leaders in expanded learning, we often evaluate our practices against a set of criteria, perhaps aligned with a specific grant, or internal goals and objectives. What if instead, we took a step back and really looked at how our efforts and decisions impact the very commun...Read More

How to cheat at Zoom!

With the transition to online learning, meetings, and trainings, platforms like Zoom have been getting a lot of attention. The definition of Zooming has been expanded beyond just moving quickly, to also mean that state of participation in web-based video calls. Zoom Bombing and Zoom Fatigue have become things we are aware of – things that were not on our radar at all just 4 months ago. So how do you Zoom all day? Really, this was a big question that came up in our household. My daughter wa...Read More

Hey Afterschool Leaders, We’ve Been Called In

Most of us are compelled to work in afterschool programs because we want to empower youth, nurture young talent, even level the playing field. Despite doing this important work daily, we are painfully aware that the conditions of schools, neighborhoods, and economies just never change. So, we find ourselves, though well-intended, propping up a system that still doesn’t equitably serve all the people in this country. As agency leaders, we are witness to, and work daily against, the pressures, pol...Read More

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