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 BOOST Breakfast Club Blog is Brain Food for In and Out-of-School Time Leaders!

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Self-Care Ideas: Give 1/Get 8 Reboot!

Keeping children at the center of our work means taking care of ourselves. Last year I wrote an article for the BOOST Breakfast Club Blog called Self-Care Ideas: Give 1/Get 8. The idea was to crowdsource ideas from a few educator friends to learn more about the daily self-care practices that help them stay resilient. For this post, I’m excited to share a reboot of that article featuring 7 more friends and their answers to the questions in CASEL’s Give 1/Get 8 worksheet. I hope their ideas inspir...Read More

Ensuring Access to Nutritious Meals During School Closures Due to COVID-19

As schools remain closed due to COVID-19 — and with many states announcing that they will stay closed for the rest of the school year — communities in every state are working together to fill the nutrition gap created by the absence of traditional school meals. During unexpected school closures, school districts and other program providers can use the federally funded Summer Nutrition programs to provide meals to students at no cost as a replacement for school meals. Additionally, the U.S. Depar...Read More

Healthy Kids on a Budget: Discount Store Scavenger Hunt

Back-to-school is here! Like most educators, you probably spend money out of your own pocket for supplies, enrichment materials, treats, and rewards. I recently went to my local discount store with $20 and a mission to find simple things to bring healthy afterschool to life. Check out my finds and corresponding activities below, then share your ideas in the comment section. Supply list: neon tape, plastic orange cones, math flashcards, animal flashcards, foam activity ball, wooden clothespins, p...Read More

Building Connectedness Through Healthy Eating: 5 Summer Activities

This month Healthier Generation is encouraging communities to make the most of their summer. From energizing outdoor games to new healthy recipes, summer should be fun for everyone. I recently teamed up with my friends, Jessy Newman from American Institutes for Research and Clarissa Hayes from Food Research and Action Center, to teach a webinar on how physical activity can foster a sense of belonging at summer meal sites (check out the recording here). Feeling connected and part of a community i...Read More

Start Planning for Summer Meals Success

Even though there might still be traces of snow on the ground in your state, now is the perfect time for youth-serving programs to start thinking about expanding access to and participation in Summer Nutrition Programs. The Summer Nutrition Programs — which include the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) — fill the nutrition gap for low-income children who rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year. The programs also support summer prog...Read More

Hands-On DIY Wellness Projects: The Ultimate Life Hack

In the month of January, Alliance for a Healthier Generation is celebrating #NewDaysResolution. Gone are the old New Year’s resolutions that are ultimately broken (and leave us feeling terrible). 2018 is about making a daily commitment to achieve one simple healthy change that leaves us feeling fulfilled and proud. For example, on the first day of January, I used all of my leftover veggies to make this delicious smoothie (ignore the color). On January 2, I used my lunch break to get a 25-m...Read More

Collaboration, Gratitude and Birds (Yeah, Birds!)

As we enter the holiday season, I’m thankful to be coming up on my 10th year at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. As Director of Community Partnerships, I have the unique pleasure of cultivating relationships to engage communities in promoting children’s health. For this article, I wanted to share three collaborations that I am particularly excited about – each with resources I hope you can use to bring wellness to life in out-of-school time while engaging families and empowering children...Read More

#GirlsAre Builders, Explorers and Adventurers

This month the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Clinton Foundation are joining forces to inspire a new generation of strong active women. Girls are fierce, but we know that by age 14, girls drop out of sports two times faster than boys and less than 50% of 12-15 year old girls get the recommended amount of physical activity. To celebrate #GirlsAre, I reached out to nine leaders who are helping to flip this script. This group of nine are builders, explorers and adventurers, stretching ...Read More

How More Play Leads to More Learning (Part 2)

In this 3-part series, we will explore how more play, creative expression, and movement can lead to more cognitive development. The link from body to brain is powerful, so getting kids to move more and study a little less throughout the day may seem counterintuitive, but it may actually lead to better grades and even improve behavior! In part 2 we will explore the mechanisms behind the power of movement to improve the brain. If you missed Part 1, click here.  So how is it possible that more time...Read More

Creating a More Connected World Through Local Agriculture: 9 Voices

Imagine if we, above all else, prioritized creating a more connected world. If we blend and integrate our passions, what innovations will we discover? What challenges would we overcome? To celebrate National Nutrition Month, this article explores how local agriculture can help foster social connectedness. To do this, I spoke with youth and adults representing urban and rural communities, non-profits, business and government and education agencies. Each brings a perspective that explores linkages...Read More

Designing Welcoming and Healthy Environments: 4 Activities

Designing welcoming environments for children and families has never been more important. Let’s look at some statistics and then talk action! Recent research shows that high school students report feeling “tired, stressed and bored” during the school day. 28% of U.S. students in grades 6–12 have experienced bullying and children with disabilities experience an increased risk. During the 2013-2014 school year, more than 1.3 million homeless children and youth were enrolled in pu...Read More

Taking Stock of and Improving Your Program’s Food

Having made it through the hectic beginning of the new school year, now is a great time to take a fresh look at the food served in your afterschool program. Food is an important part of any afterschool program, helping to draw in children and to ensure that they are not hungry and can fully benefit from the activities being offered. Is your program providing fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low fat milk? For the millions of children who live in homes struggling to put food on ...Read More

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