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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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

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

Join the 2021/22 BOOST Leadership Team

The BOOST Leadership Team is critically important to the success and impact of the BOOST Conference. This amazing team provides big ideas, new connections, practical strategies while adding credibility to the planning and execution process. This comprehensive Leadership Team represents the diversity of after school, expanded learning, and out-of-school time programs and includes representatives serving at all levels of the field. We are a quality conference truly planned by dedicated (and fun) a...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

Understanding Our Impact: How The Smallest Things Can Ignite The Most Lasting Memories

I’ve been doing a lot of trainings around Social Emotional Leadership recently, which I love so much. Tapping in to the “softer” side of our leadership seems more important now than it ever was before. In my trainings I’m known to use this quote from Douglas Conant, formerly of Campbell Soup, who says: “Even a brief interaction can change the way people think about themselves, their leaders, and the future. Each of those many connections you make has the potential to become a high point or a low...Read More

4 Things You Can Do Right Now to Promote Meaningful Participation in Afterschool

Research tells us that if we hope to make a difference in young people’s learning, we need to provide opportunities for learning that is meaningful. This is especially important as youth return to afterschool programs after a year of isolation. If young people are engaged in meaningful participation, they are empowered to be self-directed, make responsible choices about how to use their time, and participate as group members in making decisions that influence the larger program and what they lea...Read More

A Case For That Softer Side Of Leadership

When we talk about leadership, and the skills needed to be an effective leader (which is a different conversation than what it means to effectively manage a team or project), we’ve only recently started to give proper space and focus around Emotional Intelligence and some of the “softer” skills that go into impactful and transformative leadership. But, what exactly is the softer side? Well, it’s the human side. More to the point: it’s the human-connecting-to-another-human side. There are a lot o...Read More

Intentional Self-Awareness In Leadership

“If you think you are leading and turn around to see no one following, then you are just taking a walk.” Benjamin Hooks I’ve always loved this quote, because for me it cuts straight to the core of true leadership—which has absolutely nothing to do with the title on your business card. True leadership, to me, is about impact. How much of an impact do you have on those around you? And how willing are they to follow you, wherever you may lead? This kind of leadership is not measured by daily tasks ...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

4 Tips to Cultivating Leaders in Your Organization

The singular most important role of today’s leader is growing those around them. This is not just a lofty goal, but one of intentional thought and commitment. I view nurturing those around me as a benefit not only to our organization but also as a way to develop skills that will lead to success in any organization. Gasp! Yes, I believe it is my duty to shape leaders who may someday join a competing organization. So, where to begin? Leadership development is offered for many reasons. Poor company...Read More

Meet the 2020-2021 BOOST Leadership Team

BOOST Collaborative is pleased to announce the 2020-2021 BOOST Leadership Team. The BOOST Leadership Team is critically important to the success and impact of the BOOST Conference. This amazing team provides big ideas, new connections, and practical strategies while adding credibility to the planning and execution process. This comprehensive Leadership Team represents the diversity of after school, expanded learning, and in and out-of-school time programs and includes representatives serving at ...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

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