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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Why I Cringe At The Word ‘Daycare’

Every weekday morning, I pick my 14-month-old daughter out of her crib, hold her tight and let her play with her mobile (that’s really just a wind chime). She closely examines the reflective stones and Bee figures, pulls on it, and then lets it wildly swing back-and-forth. This simple moment allows us a gentle minute to connect, feel each other’s energy and inject love into each other’s being. I think of it as the way I fill up my tank (…and hers) before the long day ahead. I’ve done...Read More

How Clue and The 4C’s Inspire Connection, Community and Creativity

How DO board games inspire Connection, Community, and Creativity, you ask? Last week, eight middle school girls were consumed with the details related to who murdered Mr. Boddy. This wasn’t the latest episode of a crime drama, and thankfully wasn’t something in the news, but instead was the culminating event wrapping up their Secret Agent badge-an intense game of Clue. I’m lucky enough to be the troop leader for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, an out-of-school time activity that she and mo...Read More

Working Together: Heroes Through Collaboration

Quick, name any movie you can think of about education. Here are a few that immediately come to my mind: To Sir With Love…Stand and Deliver…Dangerous Minds…Dead Poets Society...Freedom Writers. As you made your list did you notice that they all tell a similar story – the story of a dedicated educator who essentially works alone, often against great odds, to reach out and inspire students? The individual hero-teacher appears not just in movies, but also on television shows, in t...Read More

Hear the Whole Song

I’ve mentioned before my love of the band Mumford & Sons, and I have been delighted recently that my five-year old son has been similarly taken by them. The other day we were listening to “Roll Away Your Stone” and I was telling him how that was the first song of theirs I had ever heard, and recounted the first time I heard it.  He made me tell him the story twice, somehow as rapt by it as he was by the song. I told him that I was in the car driving when it came on. I told ...Read More

Words Matter

“You look like a clown,” my dad said as I got ready for picture day. Time froze. Tears poured down my face. Elementary school me was devastated. (Though, to be fair, my outfit matching skills needed a lot of work back then and using a headband for a scrunchie probably wasn’t the best picture day choice. Sorry Dad!) MANY years have passed, and that memory now makes me laugh a little, but the fact is… I still remember it. Every word. Most of the feelings. DEFINITELY the out...Read More

Family Communication: How to Create An Atmosphere Where Your Kids Talk to You

I’m only at the cusp of this thing, this elusive thing called “family communication”. My kids are just 5 and 8, but already—already!—I can see the need for intentional and thoughtful strategies to encourage and maintain open lines of communication. I recognize how important it is to set up a safe and open line of communication with my children now so that they can rely on it later. The following list is a mash up of things we’ve just organically tried and things that the ...Read More

The Rest of the Story

Perhaps you remember as well as I do the Big Hair Bands that dominated the charts during the 1980s. These bands were known for their big hair, big concerts, big displays of pyrotechnics, big guitar solos, and big personalities. One of the bands that exemplified the image of the Big Hair Band was Van Halen. The stories of the antics that occurred off-stage were often as newsworthy as the music they performed onstage. One such story was that the band – get this – demanded that M&Ms be placed b...Read More

The Interconnected Nature of Everything

First: Did you know that the great sequoia trees in California, known to grow to nearly 300 feet tall and have a circumference of 100 feet or more, have roots that only go as deep as three feet or so into the ground? Imagine this: a tree towering nearly three stories high, supported by roots less than three feet deep. And they endure, having the capacity to live for more than 2,000 years. How is this even possible? Here’s one way how: they spread their roots wide, not deep. And in groves o...Read More

9 Tips from Out-of-School Experts to Build #PartnershipsWithPurpose

Call it what you want – partnerships, collaborations, collective impact – whatever your terminology of choice, partnerships with purpose are essential for any out-of-school program to be successful. Resources are tight, time is limited and staff turnover is a reality. So how do you build impactful partnerships? Here are 9 tips from key out-of-school time leaders. Use the hashtag #PartnershipsWithPurpose to share yours. “Establish a mutual purpose of providing the best for kids....Read More

Just Love

I’m sitting here at my computer, with my four-year old son Dylan sitting at the table across from me. He’s on the other computer, playing Peppa Pig games. I’m supposed to be staring at my computer thinking about blog topics for the day, but instead I’m staring at him and thinking about how unbelievable he is. How smart (as he navigates the laptop like a professional, even with his tiny little fingers), how funny, how mischievous, how cunning, how playful, how joyful. I...Read More

Kids Bond to People, Not Programs

One of the things I am most grateful for is how my job allows me the opportunity to meet and work with some of the most amazing people. I am inspired daily by those who have given their time and talents to after school programs across the country. And since it is apparent, they are not in this business for the vast amount of money they can earn, there is something else that compels them. They love kids! Yes, I used the “L” word. In a recent training in Arizona, one of the participant...Read More

The Benefits of Working with At-Risk Youth

Two months ago I finally recognized it happening; I could never forget the needs and the gleam in their eyes. As I began to pull my supply cart back to my car and pull out my keys to open the trunk a young man yelled my name “Mark!” It was at that moment I realized a seed had been planted, watered, and began to sprout. This was a rare occasion. I had been visiting this site for three years now, the youth there were on probation, had been kicked out of traditional school and have even...Read More

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