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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My Why: Serving From Behind the Scenes

Most people in the expanded learning field would be able to answer the question, “Do you know your why?” without much trouble. But I’ll be really honest with you. I didn’t find my “why” until I had worked in this field for a while. I got my first job in an after-school program by answering a classified ad in January of 1992. Why did I apply? Mostly because I had just obtained my college degree and I was ready to try something that didn’t involve serving ...Read More

Don’t Look at the Chipped Paint on the Walls…

Even I have to admit, it’s easy it is to be distracted professionally by things that are relatively unimportant to our organization’s overall goals. How do we as executive and organizational leaders refocus our minds on what gives us joy in our work lives while also driving us towards our mission? This seems to be especially important as we deal with the lingering impact of the pandemic and start the process of emerging out of the collective fog that has permeated many classrooms, organizations,...Read More

Hi Miss Tiaaaana

Recently, I posted a picture of myself on Instagram, and to my surprise, I received likes from folks I have not seen in quite a while. One of them, a young lady who attended the middle and high school after-school program I managed five years ago, commented on the picture by saying, “Hi Miss Tiaaaana.” She shared photos of her daughter with me, and in one of our messages, told me that some other girls who attended 20 West wanted to reunite to catch up. Hearing that my old students wa...Read More

How One Kid Can Change How I View The Country Today?

This morning I enjoyed two, over-easy, eggs, a blueberry muffin, hash browns, and a coffee.  I never eat that much for breakfast but happened to have had at a meeting at a great, local, joint. I have struggled with what to blog about this fall. There is so much going on in our country. Elected officials are at war. Politicians are yelling over each other vs listening. Anger. Fear. You would think I would have a million ideas to share. But, I find myself raw, angry and struggling for words. Then ...Read More

A Holiday Invitation, Highs and Lows: What Will You Choose?

Happy December! It’s the season of holidays for many of us, though I know not all.   I embrace the holiday season, and Christmas is my holiday. I love it all—the lights, the trees, the presents, the magic. I love that the first snowfall usually comes during this season. I love the opportunity for gathering with people to enjoy eating, drinking, and merriment. I love that I have a fireplace and can light a cozy fire during this season. I love the Christmas music playing in the background (fo...Read More

My Why: Hope Dealers – A Mission for Change

I got hooked on after school programs in 1992 while working as an art teacher in Hartford, CT. The old, rundown brick-faced school sat in the middle of an urban jungle. The hallways were dingy, there was no grass, only a cement parking lot that was used for “recess,” and many of the bathroom stalls were missing doors. It lacked promise to say the least. My immediate thoughts when I started this job were of sadness. Where was the equity in all of this? Despite previously working with ...Read More

My Why: Because, Me, We

I believe in the interconnectedness of everyone and everything. I believe we are all inextricably woven into the fabric of the humanity and of the universe and because of that, I feel a deep responsibility to do what I feel is right. Our children are humanity’s greatest resource and unfortunately it often seems that as a society, we have forgotten or choose to neglect that. I feel that ALL children deserve and should have a right and equal access to quality education suitable for each chil...Read More

My Why: Our Kids Belong to All of Us

I have not yet worked full-time for a for-profit company. I’m steadily climbing to the mid-point in my professional career, and so far, it’s been a path from museums to schools to non-profits. I sometimes wonder why and how I got started on my work road, though as the child of two public school teachers, perhaps it’s not much of a stretch that I’m a professional out-of-school time youth instructor. Sometimes I wonder if I would be satisfied working in the corporate world,...Read More

My Why: Dare Mighty Things

In the afterschool world, program leaders and staff nurture the whole child, providing them a safe space to learn, grow, and connect to others. In the afterschool space, we see many kids making daily acts of bravery – some extending themselves simply by showing up, participating, or trying something new. Through youth development, kids are encouraged to dare greatly to be themselves, come into themselves, and develop their passions. In the world of space exploration, we also “dare mighty t...Read More

My Why: It Takes a Village

I do what I do because I was given an opportunity 18 years ago to join the Center for the Collaborative Classroom (formally known as the Developmental Studies Center). I left the classroom to join a team at CCC to work on a National Science Foundation funded project to help kids talk to a significant adult in their life about mathematics. This project started with a school to home component that we developed with ease, something our team of teachers was comfortable with. The next part of the pro...Read More

My Why: It’s My Calling

You know how people say we each have a calling, something we were put on this earth to do? I started my career working with children with autism and special needs, not knowing that it would transform into something that literally ignites me to the core of my being. I owe where I am in my life to one little boy whom I met years ago named Austin. At the time I was a pre-school assistant in Boston. I always loved being around children so it was no surprise to others that I chose to study education....Read More

My Why: Youth Are Assets

I started off as a high school English teacher in an East Harlem school with Title 1 funding. My plan was to become a principal and I knew classroom experience was imperative to being an effective school leader. Teacher training helped me understand how to write lessons plans, use different forms of assessment, and reflect on how my own education may influence the way I “showed up” as a teacher. It didn’t prepare me to deal with all the social and personal factors that influenc...Read More