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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ExScaredEd: Fear & Excitement of the Unknown

This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on September 5, 2017. My son Dylan just started first grade a few weeks ago. In the weeks leading up to it, he coined a new word to describe how he was feeling: ExScaredEd. A combination of excited and scared, he said that was the best way to express how he was approaching this new year. I love it. I love, love, love it. Since then, he added “ExNerveEd” to describe being excited and nervous, and “ExSKYted” to express being extra-excited. W...Read More

Creating a culture of vulnerability and fostering creativity in education

For the most part, education is designed to meet academic demands, which does not always support the development of emotional intelligence of our children. When we as educators and parents put too much emphasis on academic abilities, we may create a culture of shame. Frequent comments about children’s academic performance and measuring their worth in grades often leads to shaming and making them feel that they are not good enough. So how do we motivate our children to learn without creating a cu...Read More

Making Sense with Stories

Let’s face it. None of us expected to be living in a sci-fi thriller during 2020: COVID pandemic, civil unrest, election disputes, distance learning, economic struggles, and the list goes on. How do we make sense out of the chaos? Stories. Bruno Bettleheim studied fairy tales, and he asserts that these fantastical stories offer children “ideas on how to bring their inner house into order.” Think of Hansel and Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Ugly Duckling. These tales paint a picture of good ...Read More

Focus on the 4Cs

I’m addicted to podcasts. They are my friend on long commutes and I’ve learned so much about so many random topics from Mars exploration to discoveries deep in the ocean. Every one of them leaves me curious and eager to learn more. One of my favorites is How I Built This, with Guy Raz. Because I’m an educator, I lose myself for miles listening to stories about the masterminds who had an idea they took all the way to a successful business. How did they do it? Why did they persist when others gave...Read More

Let’s Play!

A few years ago, I took my youngest son and his friend to Laser Quest. It’s the best laser tag place I know, full of two-story mazes covered in glow-in-the-dark paint. I had intended to sit and wait for the boys as they enjoyed their experience, but a quick phone call with Mom changed that plan. “Go play. Have fun! I would if I was there,” encouraged Mom. She knows I’m still a kid at heart, just like her. With her voice ringing in my ears, I played two of the greatest games of laser tag in my li...Read More

From Toddlers to Teens! Let Them Play!

  If you are an 80’s baby, you probably played with a toy kitchen set. I did. When I was four years old, Santa brought me a kitchen set for Christmas. With a big grin on my face, I served my family plastic chicken drumsticks and fake pieces of yellow corn on the cob.  My mom would pretend to chew the food and comment “Umm Tiana this is sooo good.” Unaware of my actions, I was emulating my mom and pretending to be a big girl.  As I reminisce about this experience, I discover how critical pla...Read More

Webinar 4: 25 Engaging Tools in 60 Minutes

Editor’s Note: A special thank you to author @jillgordon for sharing the last of four of Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana’s webinar series. Today’s post focuses on engaging tools you can use in your program too! Click on the webinar link below “Engaging Tools in 60 Minutes” for the full program. And keep your eyes open, Jill will be adding to this series with additional content from Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana.  The Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII)...Read More

Butterfly, Spread Your Wings and Self-Care

Editors Note: This blog was first published on The Leadership Program‘s website on January 29th.  Breakfast Club blogger and author, Erika Petrelli, has generously repurposed this blog for the BOOST Breakfast Club out-of-school time readership.  The field of out of school time can be so difficult—we give so much to the youth that we serve, and constantly worry that it’s not enough because we are only one person and how much can we possibly impact? We give to others at the detriment of our ...Read More

Coding Club: What High School Students Can Teach Us About Leading Afterschool Programs

None of the high school or elementary students noticed me when I slipped into their after-school classroom last fall. The room buzzed with happy energy as the older students crouched at computers, coaching their younger peers on using Scratch to create animated games. This after-school Coding Club was the first of its kind for my organization, Ann Arbor Public Schools Community Education and Recreation (“Rec & Ed”). We have a decades-long history of providing after-school programs in our sch...Read More

Engaging Young People in Creative Placemaking: Part Two

Welcome back to this two-part blog series as we unpack what creative placemaking looks like in community development and how we can use it as a tool to empower youth in being key players in their local public spaces. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to take a few minutes to read Engaging Young People in Creative Placemaking: Part One, published February 20, 2018 right here on the BOOST Cafe Breakfast Club Blog.  Using Creative Placemaking in Youth Program: Examples It may feel daunt...Read More

Engaging Young People in Creative Placemaking: Part One

Young people have inspiration, ideas, and unique problem-solving skills to contribute to community planning.  One of the most holistic ways of designing sustainable spaces and places is through creative placemaking. In this two-part blog post, I will share with you what creative placemaking is, the importance of it in our communities, and how we can use creative placemaking in our youth programs. Creative Placemaking One of the best definitions of creative placemaking is from Ann Markusen and An...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

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