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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Findings From an Afterschool STEM Learning Initiative: Links to Professional Development and Quality STEM Learning Experiences

The third issue of the Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities (JELO) has arrived! This spring issue launched at the 2016 BOOST Conference and features a conversation about quality programming in afterschool, an article on the role that social-emotional learning can play to close the achievement and learning gaps, and an article focusing on the links between professional development and quality STEM learning experiences. You can visit the first week’s installment about social emotional ...Read More

The Role of Mentorship: Field Leader Spotlight

This blog was originally posted on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Out-of-School Time Blog. The Best Out-of-School Time (BOOST) Conference is coming up, and this year I’m honored to once again co-present with Bruno Marchesi, Chief Operating Officer at the Center for Collaborative Solutions. We will be discussing Local, State, and National Perspectives on the Healthy Afterschool Movement. Prior to his role as COO, Bruno served as Project Manager for the Healthy Behaviors and...Read More

3 Lessons on Growth Through After School Programs

Being that this is my first blog as a BOOST Breakfast Club Blogger, I am excited to share my passion for afterschool programs. When I began in the year 2000, there were more questions than answers. It was the age of discovery and exploration. It was before the After School Education and Safety (ASES) programs existed and 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) programs were the only thing we knew. I was hired as a part-time Site Coordinator for an after school program and part-time Campus...Read More

My Why: Pleasurable and Meaningful Work

There are those in my family who still don’t “get” what I do and wonder, sometimes audibly, if I will ever get a real job. They ask, “Why form a non-profit organization. Do you want to be poor all your life?” I am someone who didn’t plan to work in this profession. When I was in college, studying biology and chemistry, I knew working with kids would someday make me a better Dad, so I took a part-time work-study job in an afterschool program. Then I got hooked ...Read More

12 Tips to Integrate Academic Enrichment In Afterschool

I have been working with after school programs across the country since 1998. And there are some things that I have learned that make doing academic enrichment activities more successful with kids after school. To meet the goals of this, we need after school not more school and kids should be engaged and having fun. Here are some helpful tips: Meet with your school(s) to find out what areas to focus on, where kids need more time, and how you can work together to align with what they are focusing...Read More

OST & Gaming: Angry Birds, Portals, Minecraft, Oh My!

“Five more minutes, please!” Sound familiar? This was my request to my parents every time we were leaving the pizza place and I had not yet conquered the next level of Pac-Man. I never thought I would hear this from students attending an out-of-school-time program during the summer in Austin, Texas. Yet, this past summer, this request was asked so much that parents spoke to program leadership about extending the summer program beyond the standard four-weeks. Why were kids so excited ...Read More

The Next Generation of Afterschool Staff

When I started out in the afterschool field 30 + years ago I never envisioned this work as a career. I had taken a position as the Outreach Director at a YMCA in New Jersey. One of the many items on my job description was operating the After School Kare (ASK) program at one school site. Fifteen years later when I left the Y the ASK program had grown to 32 sites in 7 school districts with 1600 children. Since that time I’ve worked as a state contract administrator, trainer, and evaluator fo...Read More

Look Up! Space-based Science in Afterschool

With the New Year comes a time of reflection and renewal. With it comes celebrations of past accomplishments, and thoughts for new directions. We all want what’s best for our kids, to give them skills to succeed in life. Have you considered offering experiences that can develop your youths’ observational skills and natural ability to wonder? Afterschool is a wonderful place for kids to develop basic life skills – and this can have an even stronger impact when it sparks their interest...Read More

Developing Superheroes

With age also comes reflection. Often this reflection is not sought after by the “elderly” but rather triggered. I was recently approached, after doing a keynote, by a disgruntled site coordinator who wanted to know where I found all the “Unbelievable” staff that did all of the inspirational adventures I had just talked about. This question has always been a double edged sword for me. My gut response was to say “First you have to be what you are looking for!” ...Read More

Marketing Your Program Through Positive Youth Development

Just because you built it, doesn’t mean they will come. Afterschool is no field of dreams. Even with a wonderful curriculum, enthusiastic staff, abundance of supplies and unwavering support from the regular school staff, your program cannot be labeled a success if nobody attends it. Recruitment issues exist at all grade levels. If you serve younger children (K-4th grade), parents usually ensure that the children attend the program, and the children are less likely to rebel at this age. Att...Read More

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