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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Student Interest Leads to Engagement

Let’s talk about how getting to know the children we work with can help us build engagement and excitement about learning. Seems easy but can be forgotten and can make such a difference. It is the same way we think about who is coming for dinner…we wouldn’t make something they didn’t like! Explore Existing Interests Poll your children to learn what they are interested in, and consider ways to use academic enrichment to focus on these areas. For example, if children show a...Read More


A combination of layovers and a tight schedule recently led me to be on four planes in 24 hours. It is spring, and it is the Midwest, so weather is frequently a factor, and I was fascinated to experience two of the pilots handle a similar situation in completely different ways. Pilot One, en route to Detroit from Indianapolis, checked in when we were about 25 minutes from landing, as pilots often do. He said hello, gave us a brief update on the goings-on in Detroit, and then before he signed off...Read More


Last Friday, I took my son to school. There was a car accident on a major thoroughfare and traffic was diverted to side streets. As a result, our ten minute drive became twenty and we arrived just in time for the school’s weekly “flag ceremony.” (Actually, it would be more accurate to say that we delayed it for about sixty seconds while the principal waited patiently for me to deliver Oliver to his Kindergarten teacher, whose students were intentionally placed in the front row ...Read More

“If You Don’t Love Kids….Get Another Job!”

If you have spent any time with me, you have probably heard me say “If You Don’t Love Kids….Get Another Job!” The thing is kids bond to people, not programs. The number one responsibility of an after school staff member is to build relationships. The number one job of an after school staff member is to love and be loveable. Children have enough adults in their lives who don’t even like being around them, don’t believe in them, and quite frankly don’t wan...Read More

Expanded Learning, California Style

In 2002, California made a historic investment that forever changed the landscape of our education system. With the passage of Proposition 49, an unprecedented half a billion dollars was devoted to after school programs — more than all other states’ investments combined. This money first went to work in 2007, at a time when we had no idea what was about to happen to our economy. But the six years since Proposition 49’s implementation have been a powerful journey of collaboratio...Read More

If Not Now, Then When? If Not You, Then Who?

It’s six o’clock in the morning and I’m sitting in my office, drinking coffee, eating yogurt and blueberries and putting a schedule together for the next three hours before I have a meeting with the Governor’s Chief of Staff. With careful planning and any luck, I can give 20 folks the information they need to register to vote. I can encourage 15 people to make choices that I believe are in their own best interest when they go to the polls, and I can set up a schedule that...Read More

Go Team, Go!

The daughter of a manicurist at a local Orange County nail salon was visiting her mom at work. She overheard that I had been a teacher and a principal, picking this up from parlor chatter — a charming cultural overlay to having nails done. Julie came right over to engage me in conversation during my manicure. Her mother had told me she loves school. As a fifth grader, she turned out to be a great conversationalist. (Her real name was Tuyen, she mentioned later.) When I asked Julie what sub...Read More

Do you Suffer from Terminal Modesty?

At my house in the mornings I can usually talk my five-year-old son into going outside and fetching the paper from the drive while I prepare a few bowls of cold cereal and pour two cups of hot coffee. Usually I enjoy reading the headlines and filling my head while I fill my tummy, but I have to admit that lately it has been frustrating to read about the school budget cuts here in Austin. Hundreds of educators have lost their jobs and multiple school sites being considered for closure. With limit...Read More

After-school Programs: “It’s probably time for an upgrade.”

OK, so let me tell you about last weekend. The refrigerator that my wife, Jan, and I inherited from the previous owners of our home is over ten years old. It’s a good model and it’s served us very well, but during the last year we’ve had to repair it three times. On the most recent occasion, the technician gave us the gloomy prognosis – “It’s probably time for an upgrade.” The news was unwelcome but inevitable. So, we found a good deal on a new one and made ar...Read More

Laughter is Good Medicine

Have you ever had that group that just couldn’t get their sillies out? You know, the gigglers, the nervous laughers, or the kids who are just sharing a private joke or kidding around on the side? So often, students have spent their days sitting and focusing on work or drilling for standardized testing that by the time they are out of school and able to let loose a little, they have a hard time refocusing on the new learning opportunities and activities we have planned for them. Rather than...Read More

From Changing Lives To Saving Lives

For the past fifteen years I’ve had the privilege of working in the afterschool field as a program director, consultant, policymaker and advocate. I’ve met countless people who are making a huge difference. Students are doing better in school, becoming more enthusiastic about learning, developing positive social relationships, experiencing new things and mastering new skills. There’s no question that afterschool programs change lives. Now it’s time to save lives. Just a f...Read More

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