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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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

Swing Out of the COVID Math Slide

It is too early to know how far student’s math skills have slid during this pandemic?  Some studies estimate as much as a year of math, more than any other subject, will be lost by a large percentage of our students. Why might pandemic learning loss be worse in math than other subjects? Experts say: Unlike reading, math is process-oriented and almost always taught through formal instruction. Parents are often less equipped to help their children in math. Stress with pandemic may worsen existing ...Read More

Your wait time from this point is…

I feel like if 2020 were a ride at Disneyland, it would be Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. There have been hairpin turns, bumps, jolts, and long wait lines. But now, as we move towards the new year, it looks like we can hop off and jump on a new ride. A ride that’s a bit brighter, a ride that has just as long of a line, and may involve a little prick of our skin – not in Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, but a COVID-19 vaccine. The news has been full of reports regarding the trials, approvals, and shipping ...Read More

Wear a Mask and Vote

On September 24, my son attended school in person for the first time since March 13. We were grateful for the opportunity to resume classroom learning and more than willing to adhere to all mandated safety protocols, including wearing masks and social distancing. We have all learned to incorporate these practices into our daily lives for the benefit of our neighbors, our families, and ourselves. Yet, somehow, wearing a mask has become associated with political ideology, the liberal equivalent of...Read More

On the Frontlines of Pandemic Education

While many schools cannot provide in-person classes, afterschool programs are delivering in-person enrichment on school campuses – and all is not quiet on the education front. The coronavirus pandemic continues to have devastating effects across the world and has become a divisive political issue in the United States. This virus has laid bare our society’s injustices, including inequity in public education. Distance learning has potential, and I hope we figure it out. In the meantime, stud...Read More

Being a Change Agent in Quarantine

With both in-person schooling and programs moving online, I didn’t have the resources at the time to transition to fully relying on digital platforms. I had adapted to having hands-on experiences and collaborating with other students in the same space to advocate for student voice and BIPOC communities. As a Gem Project fellow, I was really worried about how engaging the program could still be and how much I’d be learning about youth activism if our resources are limited. But The Gem Project’s e...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

What the COVID-19 Crisis Has Taught Us

I just finished my spinach smoothie for breakfast and am reflecting on how we all work hard these days to stay healthy and sane. My wife makes me spinach smoothies to start the day, and I drink them, though I don’t like them, because they are promising—hopeful for good health and energy. We need both, especially in these trying times of global pandemic, social distancing, and online learning. Friday, March 13, 2020 (yep, Friday the 13th) will be remembered by many folks in the education world fo...Read More

Redefining Student Interaction and Connection in a COVID-19 Environment

Throughout my time educating young people of all ages, from preschool to college, whether as an employee or employer, teacher or mother, I have spent the last 20 plus years utilizing a secret formula that my staff and I have come to label “Kid Whispering.” What is “Kid Whispering” you ask? Well, it’s the ability to communicate with, relate to, teach, inspire, and empower kids, to do and be their best. This is done through many means, both emotionally and physically, and on both the micro and mac...Read More

Cardboard Cut-outs, Story Time, & Makeshift Doc Cams: Creating Some Semblance of Normalcy

Last night our family assembled on the couch to watch opening day baseball. We donned our orange and black, took a few selfies, and watched our beloved San Francisco Giants be trounced by our biggest rival. An otherwise empty Dodger Stadium had fan cut-outs positioned in the stands most visible for the TV-viewing audience. They piped in crowd noise. Major League Baseball was trying to give the players and the fans as normal an experience as possible on opening day in July. Normalcy, or some semb...Read More

Partnering with Expanded Learning to Center Equity in School Reopening Plans

We know that many of the learning gaps among student groups stem from disparities in both access to and quality of learning time and opportunities. Right now, even higher-income families can see the impact that gaps in learning and socialization time are having on their children. But as COVID-19 continues to exacerbate educational disparities between kids whose families can afford to provide or pay for learning supports and effective environments, and those who cannot, our hope is that this also...Read More

Parents, Your Grit and Resilience Matters Now Too!

I know, I know, you keep hearing it… “It’s been a weird, scary, and wild time in history!” And maybe you’re thinking, “There’s so much we have no idea about! What could possibly be next? How do we get ready for fall if school districts aren’t even ready? What will school and afterschool look like? What about my own job? How can I work from home and keep parenting my kids? I am not equipped!” Your questions are seen and valid. You are not alone. I have been hearing these questions happen all arou...Read More

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