Breakfast Club Blog

Calming Back-to-School Jitters for LGBTQ Youth

Will I make friends? What if I get lost? Will I like my teachers? What if I do something embarrassing? These are the back to school jitters we’re used to helping youth navigate. We have all kinds of strategies to help young people feel comfortable in their new classroom or after school program — putting their name on a desk or name tag, icebreakers, activities that encourage youth to get to know each other — the list is endless. But consider the young person who is unsure of his or h...Read More

Now Live! Submit an RFP for the 2018 BOOST Conference

From May 1-4, 2018,  thousands of professionals will be joining together to learn, think, inspire, create, and grow at the BOOST Conference and we want YOU to help facilitate this growth and learning through our dynamic workshops. Submit a proposal today! Think about your expertise, what you have to offer to the out-of-school (OST) time field, and what conversations conference participants are seeking. The variety of workshop themes are designed to promote those conversations, interactions, and ...Read More

The Music of Life:  An Ode to the World

I was thinking recently about how two of my favorite sounds in the world are completely different. The first is the sound of birds singing and chirping—particularly the spring birds in the early morning. The second is the sound of an Indy race car as it speeds around the track. I love both of these sounds so much. Yet one is so gentle and the other is so strong. It seems like they should be in opposition to each other. But in reality I think they are examples of the stunning beauty of this world...Read More

Our Kids Are Stressed Out – 5 Ways to Empower Youth To Find Their CALMM

Focus, Pay Attention, Sit Still, Listen, Follow Directions… Just a few phrases youth are bombarded with on a daily basis whether it’s coming from their parents, teachers or other adults in their lives. As adults it can seem as if our words go in one ear and out the other and that children lack attention, motivation and behavior. Our kids Are Stressed Out – Empowering Youth the find their CALMM…is something they have immediate control over or is an intentional response. In my years as an educatio...Read More

People Aren’t Flies: How Youth Can Listen Without Needing to Be Heard

We have all experienced a time when we believed we had a genuine connection with a person, only to find out that they had a specific agenda in mind. We have all experienced someone that has tried to proselytize or preach at us, to use us to get ahead, or to gain access to our friends or family members. For many people, what starts out as a genuine connection dissolves almost instantly as soon as the sirens of topics such as politics or religion are sounded. We know how difficult it can be to hav...Read More

10+ Fun Activities to Energize Your Summer Programming and Staff Meetings

Summer is here and let’s be honest, not every day is going to be an ideal summer day. You know, those days when poor air quality keeps you indoors, parents are late for pick up and technology doesn’t cooperate, leaving you scrambling for a backup plan. Don’t sweat it! With a few physical activity games in your back pocket, you’ll be able to keep staff and kids engaged, energized and smiling all summer long. When You Need a Quick Energizer Try Deal or No Deal for a quick pick-me-up energizer that...Read More

5 Ways to Address and Help: Self-Injury

Have you found yourself concerned for a young person with cuts or scratches on their thighs or noticed a wound on their arm that seems to not heal? Has there been a youth or student that you suspected might be harming themselves? Do you know how you would talk with a youth that is engaging in non-suicidal self-injury? Before you address someone’s non-suicidal self-injury, it is important to understand what self-injury is, why someone might engage in it, who is at greater risk of self-injury, and...Read More

The Flawed Leader

For the past 15 years, I have developed and grown an afterschool program model from its infancy serving 20 kids in a church to serving over 600 kids across three cities, demonstrating incredible success rates. By all means I have been deemed as a visionary, strong, competent leader.  Each year as we get larger and stronger, the pressure mounts as the praise continues, and the expectations build.  However, what most people on the outside looking in don’t see is with all the ambition, the drive fo...Read More

#SupportAfterschool! Written by An Out of School Time OG

In support of the Afterschool Alliance’s advocacy work to help raise awareness for out of school time programs across the nation, we are re-posting a note written by Thierry Gonzalez from a Facebook post. Proceeds from every purchase will go to the Afterschool Alliance to support the defense of after-school funding in the face of devastating proposed cuts. Your fashion statement will help millions of kids across America! “A brief explanation of why I have started the website www.supp...Read More

Moveable Game Jams

This Breakfast Club blog post is a follow-up to Afterschool Game Jams! which I wrote last August 2016. In it, I described what game jams are, including the “Moveable Game Jam” initiative. Much has happened since then, and I am excited to share it all with the BOOST community! What Are Game Jams, Anyway? Game jams typically take place over a weekend, and involve a theme, or specific content area. For example, this spring, NOAA is hosting an Arctic Climate Game Jam, in which participan...Read More

Service Learning, Global Activism, Leadership and Your Middle School Students

Asia Society and BOOST Collaborative have partnered to create a series of blogs on global learning in out-of-school time. This blog entry was originally published on EdWeek’s Global Learning Blog. This piece is written by Linda Kantor Swerdlow. In her new book, Global Activism in an American School from Empathy to Action, Linda shares an example of how students can take action and use their own agency to make a difference in the world.  I first met seventh grade English teacher Ron Adams a...Read More

Three Shining Lights Against a Dark Cloud

Under normal circumstances, I’m not one to be political in a public and professional forum, but really, I’m in need of some writing therapy. Every day, I read the latest news story about another negative appointment to the President- elect’s cabinet. Who knew there were so many people who both seem to despise the role of government AND also want to lead it? While alarming, those aren’t even the most upsetting parts of my daily doldrums. What really brings me down are the ...Read More

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