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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A Journey of Self-Discovery

The students in our programs come from diverse backgrounds and face unique challenges in navigating the world they are growing up in. It is a privilege to be their guide in this journey called life. Many of the students we have in our programs are having experiences that may be similar to the staff working in our programs. The true challenge is being able to create an environment that supports the staff and students to feel emotionally and physically safe and not just survive but thrive in spite...Read More

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

Magical Leadership

The past few weeks have been very fun and proud for me, as this baby of mine, this pet project, this seed of an idea that was planted more than three years ago, finally saw the sunlight. The interactive journal—the book born out of a weekly blog that I write—On Wings & Whimsy: Thoughts on Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary—was published as the first product of The Leadership Program for 2017. It’s a journal designed for personal reflection and development, rooted in stories ...Read More

“Essence” of Leadership

If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to win. — Paul “Bear” Bryant People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou There is something in our organization we call the Essence of Leadership. To us Essence is the spirit of the quintessential leader. Our mission at Children’s Choice is to pro...Read More

My Why: Curly’s Law – A Bearer of Hope

I love the scene in the movie City Slickers where Billy Crystal’s character, Mitch, is riding alone with Curly, played by Jack Palance. Curly gives Mitch some advice about life. Curly: You know what the secret of life is? Mitch: No. What? Curly: [holds up one finger] This. Mitch: Your finger? Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean s**t. Mitch: That’s great, but what’s the one thing? Curly: That’s what you gotta figure out....Read More

We Shouldn’t Fear Our Leaders: 3 Reminders for the Next Generation

The changes are becoming apparent. The transition is here. Individuals who once ran programs at a site level are now in positions of leadership at a state level. This is the moment that we have waited for with much anticipation and excitement. This is the conversation that we have had late into the night at several BOOST conferences. So it is in this moment that I remind myself that leadership at its core is about character. I’m reminded of a quote from President Abraham Lincoln, “Ne...Read More

Improving as a Leader = Improving as a Person

To be a truly good LEADER, one must espouse the following sorts of traits and behaviors:  Listen well Speak judiciously Approach others with humility Laugh often (especially at yourself) Treat others with empathy Remain calm and thoughtful in the midst of stress Be mindful of personal health so as to remain valuable to others To be a truly good PERSON, one must espouse the following sorts of traits and behaviors: Listen well Speak judiciously Approach others with humility Laugh often (especially...Read More

7 Specialties of the Afterschool Program Director

The director’s job can be very complex. We’ve come up with a powerful yet simple way to articulate what the job entails, illustrate how to effectively manage your time, and leverage your efforts to maximize your success. We have identified 7 Specialties that help bring simplicity to understanding a challenging and complex job. When directors only specialize in one of these areas (such as… “MY specialty is parent relationships”), they add value, but they never really...Read More

Who Leads Your Afterschool Program?

In my roles over the past decade, I’ve met quite a few afterschool and summer program leaders. Some of them strongly portray traits found in successful leaders. These adults set the tone for their sites, providing order and structure, flexibility, sternness, and a passion for children and making a difference in their lives. They communicate high expectations, but are nurturing in helping staff and children achieve them. They do not speak loudly, but carry a clipboard filled with procedures...Read More

6 Reminders for Maintaining your Leadership Rhythm

As I write, it’s one of those times where I must focus the lens for the gritty and most meaningful things to tell you about. We only have a few sentences to share before our time together is up, and it’s important to make them count. So that leads us to rhythm. There’s nothing like a band that plays together, a motor in with proper timing, a NFL team operating as a unit, and especially a leader that is in balance. Beyond most, I believe that you understand the importance of rhy...Read More

Ride the Wave!

In our field, systems, and relationships teeter-totter between structured and organic. Although our roots call us to be relationship driven, the push to professionalize ourselves and claim a noticeable and valued function in education has forced us to be more structured than ever. The current leadership in youth work has effectively created a pathway that balances the beauty of an organic team and the usefulness of structured planning. I believe this pathway was created by two things: a new wave...Read More

Leading With Purpose, Passion and Intention

A few years ago I wrote a book called Lessons in Leadership, drawing on the wisdom of pioneers in the afterschool world – individuals who have made a real difference in developing and sustaining exemplary programs, forging authentic partnerships, building the capacity of thousands of staff members to be more successful than they had ever imagined, influencing public policy and impacting the lives of millions of children and young people. I’ve received hundreds of e-mails and phone calls fr...Read More