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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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

Expanding Our Commitments to Brothers in Out-of-School Time

This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on March 24, 2015. Learn more about the current work of MBK, here. A year ago February [February 2014], President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (MBK). The goal of MBK was to lift up and strengthen any and all efforts that were “helping more young men of color stay on track. Providing the support they need to think more broadly about their future. Building on what works, when it works, in those critical life-...Read More

In this Time of Crisis, Afterschool Gives Me Hope

California, and the nation as a whole, are in the midst of multiple and intersecting crises—the public health crisis of COVID-19, the resulting economic crisis, and a long-standing crisis of injustice and systemic oppression of Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). When I think of the children and communities who are suffering the most as a result of these crises, I get consumed with questions. What will happen to kids this summer? When will they be able to come back to school? How wil...Read More

Using Voice and Choice in Afterschool Programs

As afterschool professionals, we give a lot of lip service to the phrase “voice and choice.” Theoretically, we understand that students feel more ownership of their afterschool programs when they are able to voice their opinions and provide input into the program. Sounds easy, right? Like most good ideas, however, implementation is much more difficult than it sounds. Students are most likely not going to gather and discuss collaboratively what they want the program to be. There is al...Read More

Saving Energy While Teleworking

During these unprecedented times, many of us are now working from home – and usually with kids in tow which means that we are using more electricity and water every day. As the Residential Energy Program Manager in Montgomery County, Maryland, my job is to make sure people know how to lower their utility bills and keep money in their pockets, so I wanted to share some tips with the BOOST Breakfast Club as well! These are my recommendations to help manage your bills while working from home. Pay A...Read More

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

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