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!

Interested in becoming a blogger? Email [email protected]

Click here to Register for a free account or click here to Login to your existing account.

Focusing on the Three Rs this Summer

In a recent principal training, a participant raised his hand and asked a question I have heard too often: “How can I afford to invest in SEL (social-emotional learning) when my students have fallen so far behind?” I struggled to maintain my composure. This principal had been in at least three brain development workshops that unpacked the connections across the social, emotional, and cognitive functions of our limbic system. According to our biology, learning is a social and emotional process – ...Read More

SEL and Leadership? Let’s Get Loud!

SEL, SEL, SEL… social-emotional learning! Kids need it! All kids, not only marginalized youth– for some reason people think that (duh)! But all kids need it… rich, poor, students of color, white kids, urban, rural, and suburban kids, indigenous, affluent, English Learners, deprived traumatized kids, special needs, and seemingly normal kids (whatever that is). There’s this HUGE push for educators to implement social-emotional learning into classrooms and in expanding learning organiza...Read More

Poetry As A Tool For Teaching Social Emotional Development

Our students wrote original poetry for “Real Talk,” a social-emotional learning (SEL) class. Each month our students engage in and learn about different concepts relating to social-emotional development. We have created a book with all of our student’s poems, which I enjoyed reading. After reading several of our student’s work, the verse that stuck out for me was “Depressed.” The first line caught my attention because of its wit and honesty. Depressed When a tomato ...Read More

Use Micro – Moments To Set Inclusive Tone

“Welcome.” “I’m so glad you’re here!” “Hey, I like the dog on your shirt.” “It’s great to see you today.” What are your favorite ways to establish an inclusive and welcoming tone from the moment a child or teen walks into your program? It only takes a few seconds, yet making a point to greet each young person as they enter helps them start feeling comfortable from the start. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)’s new SEL 3 Signature Practices Playbook talks abou...Read More

The Practice of Love and Forgiveness in the Lives of Youth

Editor’s Note: This blog was first published in 2002 in the EduCare’s Educator Institute Handbook and EduCare Foundation’s website.  _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The hearts of our children often ache from the hurts and hardships that they keep so hidden and secretive. We quietly hope that they can nonetheless move through life with a resilient spirit that can overcome the troubles they ...Read More

Modeling Social-Emotional Skills To Support Kids’ Growth

Over the past year, I have talked with dozens of educators and community leaders about their goals for social-emotional learning (SEL), which I define as identifying what is going on in our heads and in our hearts so we can use our hands to build up, rather than tear down. What I hear most often is the need to build adults’ capacity for SEL. Having worked in education and community programs for two decades, I have seen the pendulum swing from the focus on SEL (previously referred to as character...Read More


When you ask a young person to apologize, they often scowl at you with an attitude. They may glare at you and roughly say,” Why should I apologize, I didn’t do anything wrong.” We all know that owning our mistakes is not only a challenge for children but for adults as well. Apprehension to apologizing relates to our fear of permanently ruining our public self-image. Surprisingly, avoiding owning our slip-ups can backfire on us. We all make mistakes, but it is crucial to teach children how to res...Read More

Interview With CEO Edward Franklin At The BOOST Conference: Real Talk On Social Emotional Learning

I peered out into a large crowd of people sitting at tables eating lunch. I walked around for a few minutes trying to find a place to sit. Randomly, I pulled out a chair at a table with a few people chatting and eating. Hungry and eager to listen to the keynote speaker, I looked around to see when lunch was arriving at our table. Shortly after sitting down, the gentleman to my right greeted me with a friendly hello and immediately we sparked up a conversation. We talked about work, where each ot...Read More

Meet The Authors Guest Blog: 3 Simple Ways To Build Up The Hearts & Spirits Of Your Kids

We are pleased to introduce you to Julia Gabor and Jeffrey Jordan, Breakfast Club Bloggers and Meet the Authors contributors. You can meet Julia and Jeffrey and buy a signed copy of their book kid-grit: THE BOOK at the BOOST Conference in Palm Springs, CA, May 1 & 2 at Booth 301 in the Exhibit Hall.  Enjoy their Breakfast Club blog below! —————————————— We strongly believe in a few holistic approaches to yout...Read More

The Cutting Edge of Youth Learning and Development: Six Things You Should Know and Three Things You Should Do

Four years ago, I wrote a blog post for the BOOST Café titled, Positive Youth Development, an Idea Whose Time Has Come…. Again and Again. The blog highlighted that new research on Grit, Growth Mindset and Social Emotional Learning supported what we in the out-of-school time field have known for a long time. Four years later, the most recent research, once again, supports the importance of a foundation of program quality grounded in Positive Youth Development. A groundbreaking new report recently...Read More

2 Terrific Tips on Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) For Adults

  This blog is about SEL for adults, exploring why and how we must practice SEL in our collective work, both in and out of school. I believe there is no such thing as a coincidence. I asked my close colleague, who sits just across from me in the office, what I should write about in this next blog.  Understanding my ongoing, organic theme about creating conditions for youth voice and choice, he suggested I write about the competencies within us that allow for this to happen. I was intrigued ...Read More

Are We Modeling Social Emotional Skills?

Social-emotional learning requires the same kind of intentionality as academic learning and as adults, we have to model the social-emotional skills we hope to build in our students. Here is a painfully ironic example: Joshua Trump is an 11-year-old who was one of President Trump and first lady Melania Trump’s guests at the State of the Union. He is not related to the President but has been bullied over the last few years because of his name. “He said he hates himself, and he hates his last name,...Read More