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!
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Slow down to move fast. Sounds counterintuitive, right? But knowing when to press pause is a critical decision that all leaders face. Here are some thoughts on why taking a break is the right thing for all leaders right now. As leaders in expanded learning, we often evaluate our practices against a set of criteria, perhaps aligned with a specific grant, or internal goals and objectives. What if instead, we took a step back and really looked at how our efforts and decisions impact the very commun...Read More
This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on March 24, 2015. Learn more about the current work of MBK, here. A year ago February [February 2014], President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative (MBK). The goal of MBK was to lift up and strengthen any and all efforts that were “helping more young men of color stay on track. Providing the support they need to think more broadly about their future. Building on what works, when it works, in those critical life-...Read More
TEAMBOOST stands in solidarity with our Black colleagues, students, families, and communities. We love you. We support you. We are here for you. Today, we are recommitting to our fight for racial justice, inclusion, and equity. Going forward, we will continue to take meaningful action toward positive change. Over the years, we’ve sought out powerful Black voices to educate, inspire, and uplift the BOOST community. We hope you’ll take some time to listen, read, and continue your anti-...Read More
The foundation of learning happens in spaces where youth feel safe, seen, and respected. Unfortunately, all learning environments are not developed with this in mind. The structural evolution of today’s K-12 classrooms has made little progress over the years. As youth practitioners and educators, we have the opportunity every day to support a more equitable learning environment by laying the groundwork, before youth enter our doors. It is an incredible responsibility for one person. Therefore, w...Read More
Equity and inclusion are on everyone’s minds these days. Out-of-school time professionals across the nation are taking a good look at their practices with an eye toward assuring that all young people and their families feel welcome. Don’t forget to review your program’s enrollment forms and surveys as part of this process – it’s a common, yet overlooked, spot for unconscious bias to have a field day. Small changes to the words you use in these materials can make a difference in the experiences y...Read More
Do you ever go to a meeting and wonder why you came? Do your meetings lack the fun and energy that keep people engaged and ready to participate? Personally, I think meetings should be limited to an hour max (whenever possible). This year, I’ve had the pleasure of organizing and moderating our 2017 Youth Philanthropy Webinar Series, a four-part series designed to support next-gen leadership and giving opportunities through real-world examples and resources from experts all over the country. Th...Read More
I recently presented a workshop on inclusion at the 21st Century Community Learning Center Summer Institute in July. In preparing for the workshop I spoke with two local 21st CCLC site directors about how they included students with special needs. As the local evaluator I knew that these programs had successfully included students with various disabilities in their programs. Here are some best practices that I want to share with you: Port Norris School, small school in rural New Jersey 75 kids i...Read More
“There is a critical need for afterschool programs that can receive and handle students with special needs. I believe that programs could be strengthened by providing training for caregivers in such areas as autism and ADHD, along with encouraging practices that would provide an appropriate adult-to-student ratio to enhance care options for students with disabilities.” Taking the Temperature of Afterschool, New Jersey School Age Care Coalition Although the Americans with Disabilities...Read More
Being the last one picked is just no fun. What if the last words you heard before you became a team member was “Alright, I guess we have to take you”? The first play hasn’t been made and already, you feel like a failure. For some students, the mere act of picking teams is so difficult they simply choose not to participate in physical activity, thus avoiding the stress. The emotional safety of our students is as essential as the physical safety and it can begin with the act of p...Read More
Have you ever had an “if only I’d known…” episode? This happened to me when I learned some simple ways I could have helped a hearing-impaired student join my YMCA afterschool program with much less stress and fuss—had I only known. Basically, this is what happened: In the fall of 1999, a father came to my office to register his son and his stepson for our afterschool program. He was newly married, had just moved to the area and had some difficulty completing all the neces...Read More