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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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

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