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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Hope Circle: An Opportunity for Creative Movement

Dancing engages nearly all of the brain at once. Just participating in dance is good for the brain, but dance can also be used to intentionally target really important development areas for children. Children can come to see what they are capable of by experiencing the influence they have when they engage in creating dance. One of my favorite creative movement experiences to guide children through, and adults for that matter, is the “Hope Circle” experience. I first participated in a...Read More

We’ve All Got a Spark. Let’s Light a Fire!

We have the power to light a fire in every child with whom we work. It only takes one person to change a child’s life. Think back on your educational influences and you will likely find someone who lit a fire in you that still burns today. Across the country I’ve asked leaders, “What childhood science experiences do you remember?” People share about baking soda volcanoes, science fairs, field trips, and dissections that lit a spark in them. I never hear about textbooks. D...Read More

Self-Care Summer: Ideas from 15 Friends in 6 States

If you are diving into this article, your summer program or camp is probably in full swing. Let’s be honest though, along with the fun and flexibility of summer comes stressful situations and strong emotions. Taking time for yourself – a “Me Moment” – is an important strategy to appreciate periods of calm and regulate challenging feelings when they arise. This is even more critical if you are an educator or caregiver supporting others on a regular basis. To bring this idea to life, I...Read More

Are You Listening? Leading with Care

They’re not listening to me! It’s a common complaint, especially when working with kids (though it’s said about adults, too!). I’m always fascinated by it. When the person is asking for help with the “problem,” I first ask, “Are you telling them what to do?” The response varies from “Well, yeah!” to “What do you mean by that?” What do I mean? I recently had the opportunity to return to a site for a few weeks—from beginning to end of the school day—and it has me thinking about what it means to le...Read More

Honoring Mary Jo Ginty, 2021 OSTI Award Winner

On Thursday, April 29, Mary Jo Ginty was honored with the 2021 OSTI Award at the BOOST Conference. Mary Jo was a beloved friend, leader, mentor, and colleague, and we were proud to welcome many of her friends and family members to join us virtually at the BOOST Conference and celebrate her immeasurable contributions to the after school, expanded learning, and in and out-of-school time field. Created in 2007, the global OSTI Awards honors expanded learning, after school, and in and out-of-school ...Read More

The Year without Hugs

2020 began with a shock for me. I learned that Mary Jo Ginty had died in her sleep December 29, 2019. A month later, I was among the friends and family who gathered in Long Beach to celebrate her life. I was grateful to be in a room with others who loved her. We shared our grief, our treasured memories, and a lot of hugs. My friend Michael Funk shared a story about how Mary Jo was not a hugger. She doled out hugs frugally. You had to earn them. I never got one, but I know she loved me as much as...Read More

Sending Holiday Cheer

BOOST appreciates you through the year, so we wanted to send some holiday cheer! We can’t wait to keep learning and laughing with you in 2021! Here’s to brighter days ahead. xo, TEAMBOOST Click to download the PDF

Seeing Clearly in the Fog: Reflections on the Core Value of Connection

The other morning I went to the beach and was startled by the fog. From the boardwalk where I jogged, I could barely see the waves surface upon the sand. People emerged before me from the damp greyness only as I got close, and even the high-rise buildings off to the side disappeared as I gazed up. There was mystery in the distance, and what laid ahead remained hidden. And so, I focused on my breath, my pace, my thoughts, the people before me, and the here and now feeling of it all. While our wor...Read More

Their Lives Changed Overnight… How Youth Responded

Almost overnight, the lives of high school students all over the country, along with their teachers, mentors, and group facilitators, were completely disrupted. At a time where spring break, prom, and graduation was on the mind of many students, suddenly they found themselves wondering if they would return to school at all, or whether the abrupt ‘goodbyes’ were the last memory they would carry with them. Later in the spring, when racial tensions increased nationwide, students found themselves ag...Read More

An empty basketball court…

Prior to this spring, I had all of these ideas rolling around in my head about this next blog post. Would it be about standardized testing (a normal spring occurrence) or preparing your English Learner (EL) for summer? Would it be a post about connecting EL families to school and making them feel welcome? Then, around mid-March, we all began talking about something else… Did you see that they closed Italy? Did you see that there are COVID-19 cases in Washington State? Did you see they held that ...Read More

It’s Time to Reframe the Narrative around Black Youth — and Youth Work Has Some Tools to Do So

This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on June 9, 2017. His name is Jordan Edwards. And Jayson Negron. And Darius Smith. He was fifteen years old. He was unarmed at the time of his untimely demise at the hands of law enforcement. He was a young man of color caught on the wrong side of the thin line between potential and death. He should be participating in a summer jobs program, playing hoops at the Y, or compiling an initial list of colleges. He – Jordan, Jayson, and Darius – ...Read More

Power of the Break – Reflections on the pandemic

Last winter I flew across the country to attend a health equity training with colleagues and, as I sometimes do when I travel, I carried a stone in my pocket that symbolizes for me balance, regulation, and interconnection – a reminder of seeking to join my head and heart space. The stone fit perfectly in the palm of my hand and felt smooth and solid there. After two full days of intense learning, reflecting, storytelling, and connecting, I debriefed and discussed with colleagues over dinne...Read More