Breakfast Club Blog

What Kind Of Mark Did You Make Today?

Checking in with your kids each day is a great way to help them remember their values and to focus on the type of person that they want to be. And a great question to ask each day is – “What mark did you make today?” You see, every time we are with someone we leave a “mark” – either a “gold heart” or a “grungy mark” depending on how we treated them. When I was a young girl, my Dad loved to talk about the Golden Rule – “to treat others as I would want to be treated.” The Golden Rule was rea...Read More

A New Year’s Resolution

Today is the last day of 2017. It’s been a strange year. I feel like we’re living in some Bizarro World version of America. It’s as if one day we will wake up and realize this was all just a bad dream. A year ago I thought, “Well, I lived through eight years of W, I’ll get through this.” I didn’t think it would affect me personally, but it has. It does, every day. I live in Irvine, a diverse suburban community in which less than half of the population is white. A multitude of languages can be he...Read More

“New Year” With Our Kiddos

January 1, 2018 is really our second “New Year” with our kiddos. Happy New Year, take two! As educators, we really have two new years. First, we start the year in August or September when our kiddos return from their summer vacation. Then we start a new year when midnight strikes on December 31st. Both are frequently times when we reflect and set goals. So, how are you doing since your first New Year? Take a moment to think about how you are doing since you started this school year. What is work...Read More

Together We Make a Difference – FREE DOWNLOAD

Many years ago, I arrived at a middle school to evaluate an after school program. As with all site visits, I checked in to the school office and asked where the after school program was located. They were unsure of which “after school program” I was actually looking for. This school, like most, had over a dozen programs happening simultaneously throughout their campus during after school hours. I found the state-funded after school program (that I was on campus to evaluate) and quickly learned t...Read More

Bringing in 2018 with Full-On Gratitude

This blog discusses a topic that I found really useful in 2017, almost life-changing. And now that I am aware of how powerful gratitude is, I use gratitude as a practice for healing and finding calm in my crazy days! Whether it is professional or personal, when I use gratitude as a tool for establishing a healthy mindset, life just gets better. Let’s make the shift in 2018… WHAT: Bringing in the New Year with gratitude can be refreshing, soothing and a hopeful way to start anew! WHY: Findi...Read More

Releasing the Giving Hangover

It never failed. I would receive mountains of canned goods, dry goods, and cash from well-meaning donors before Christmas (always accompanied by copious amounts of cranberry jelly), but the season inevitably came: The Giving Hangover. Call it the Winter Blues, or the Post-Christmas Slump, or whatever, giving always dropped at the food bank after New Years’ and often lasted until February, sometimes even into March. People had credit card bills to pay; people had higher utility bills to pay; peop...Read More

Preserving Programs for Kids by Going Local

At the end of 2017, the nation is on the verge of one of the largest federal tax cuts in modern times. And while some in Washington celebrate, for others the Congressional tax deal holds the specter of devastating cuts to social services and education programs that rely on federal dollars. Some are bracing for budgets squeezed dry, and more and more programs, already run on a shoestring, hobbled to ineffectiveness or nonexistence. Knowing what’s at stake, people in our line of work don’t typical...Read More

What is advocacy, why does it matter, and how can you make a difference in just 10 minutes from your desk?

Why does advocacy matter? Did you know that 1 out of 3 students in California can’t identify a single caring adult at school? [1] Research shows that access to caring adults is critical for the development and success of youth, and expanded learning programs often provide these relationships that students depend on. [2] Advocating for these programs increases access to caring adults and safe spaces in and out of school that are necessary to support student success. In 2015 and 2016, the Partners...Read More

Santa Baby! Crafts, Resources, Volunteerism and Hugs!

It’s that time of year again… the last of the pumpkin spice lattes are being served and the air is filled with peppermint everything at the local coffee shops. There’s an added pep in every step, smiles are shared amongst strangers, and you are determined to sing “Santa Baby” better than ever. It’s my favorite part of the year! Creativity at school sites is at an all-time high and program coordinators are excited about the different activities that will surely outshine everyone else’s. Ser...Read More

A Holiday Invitation, Highs and Lows: What Will You Choose?

Happy December! It’s the season of holidays for many of us, though I know not all.   I embrace the holiday season, and Christmas is my holiday. I love it all—the lights, the trees, the presents, the magic. I love that the first snowfall usually comes during this season. I love the opportunity for gathering with people to enjoy eating, drinking, and merriment. I love that I have a fireplace and can light a cozy fire during this season. I love the Christmas music playing in the background (fo...Read More

An Instant Activity Blueprint to Get All Kids Moving

It’s a fact. Kids need physical activity. Frequent physical activity has been linked to a variety of positive developmental outcomes for kids, including improved health, cognition, and even behavior. As “fitness mentors” it’s important we provide kids ample opportunities to be active throughout the day. While this sounds good in theory, the time, space, and equipment we have available to inspire kids to be active may be limited. Not to mention, we can quickly run out of ideas as little bodies an...Read More

Meet the BLT: Heather Williams

Heather Williams Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, California Department of Education, Expanded Learning Division, Sacramento, CA Who or what inspires you? I’m inspired by many things, but if I’m particularly seeking inspiration there are a few places I go look. One is reading. Whether fiction, non-fiction, books, articles, research, in the information age and particularly with the internet, we have so much reading material at our fingertips. It doesn’t take long before I can ...Read More