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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#ButterflyEffectChallenge

but·ter·fly ef·fect noun (with reference to chaos theory) the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere   As an experiential educator and group facilitator working in the realm of social-emotional learning and leadership development, I am used to helping people “get out of their comfort zones.”  As educators, it is not only our duty to encourage people to go beyond where they are comfortable and into this place called “learning” but to...Read More

Yoga & Mindfulness to Support Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Emotional Intelligence

What is SEL? Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as:  “The process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”1 SEL prepares students to Solve Problems, Manage Emotions, a...Read More

Social-Emotional Fitness: Neophobia vs. Neuroplasticity

“What were you thinking?!” “I can’t believe you did that!” These are just some of the favorite phrases of “disbelief” we like to use as adults when we come face to face with mistakes made by youth. I know this personally and professionally.  I have two daughters ages 7 and 11, and I will admit that these words have been a part of my “go-to” statements when trying to figure out what led to them messing up. When you understand the mental and emotional state of adolescence, the question referenced ...Read More

My Resolution For A Better Me

As we begin 2018, how many of you made a New Year’s resolution? I know I am taking advantage of this opportunity to make a commitment to myself and to make changes in myself. A new year is a perfect time to engage in a fresh start. I, like many people, could resolve to eat better, exercise more, or curb frivolous spending, but instead, I am going to take steps toward better mental health in the new year. For inspiration to help with my resolution I am turning to Mahatma Gandhi. His gentle approa...Read More

Bringing in 2018 with Full-On Gratitude

This blog discusses a topic that I found really useful in 2017, almost life-changing. And now that I am aware of how powerful gratitude is, I use gratitude as a practice for healing and finding calm in my crazy days! Whether it is professional or personal, when I use gratitude as a tool for establishing a healthy mindset, life just gets better. Let’s make the shift in 2018… WHAT: Bringing in the New Year with gratitude can be refreshing, soothing and a hopeful way to start anew! WHY: Findi...Read More

ExScaredEd: Fear & Excitement of the Unknown

My son Dylan just started first grade a few weeks ago. In the weeks leading up to it, he coined a new word to describe how he was feeling: ExScaredEd. A combination of excited and scared, he said that was the best way to express how he was approaching this new year. I love it. I love, love, love it. Since then, he added “ExNerveEd” to describe being excited and nervous, and “ExSKYted” to express being extra-excited. Which are both pretty cool too. But I’m stuck on ExScaredEd. Because isn’t that ...Read More

4 Steps to Make Student-Centered Learning Come Alive!

The purpose and potential of Expanded Learning Programs have changed radically in the last 20 years. The process began with the passage of California’s first comprehensive afterschool legislation, which Carla Sanger of LA’s BEST and I initiated in 1997. This paved the way for hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for elementary and middle school programs and resulted in a growing body of knowledge about what it takes to make a real difference in students’ lives. As part of this process, man...Read More

Out-of-School Time Staff – What do you get to do?

Hello Breakfast Club readers & leaders! As we approach August and get closer to launching the 2017/2018 school year, I wanted to share a speech I was asked to do for a CAL SAC leadership event in June, in Los Angeles. I am hoping this helps motivate and inspire you and your staff to appreciate all you GET to do. They come to us filled with hormones, under-resourced, confused, academically behind, overstimulated and oversexualized, underfed, tired and with poor hygiene. They are bullied, they...Read More

5 Ways to Address and Help: Self-Injury

Have you found yourself concerned for a young person with cuts or scratches on their thighs or noticed a wound on their arm that seems to not heal? Has there been a youth or student that you suspected might be harming themselves? Do you know how you would talk with a youth that is engaging in non-suicidal self-injury? Before you address someone’s non-suicidal self-injury, it is important to understand what self-injury is, why someone might engage in it, who is at greater risk of self-injury, and...Read More

Growth Mindset: Losing is the New Winning

Spending more than half of my life in and out of a locker room, one gets very used to sound of competition. Sayings like, “failure is not an option” and “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing,” were common echoes in my upbringing. From one coach to the next, it was always about winning, getting better, playing your best, minimizing mistakes, practice makes perfect, etc., etc. It’s no wonder that I wanted to quit after losing my first soccer game ...Read More

Three Shining Lights Against a Dark Cloud

Under normal circumstances, I’m not one to be political in a public and professional forum, but really, I’m in need of some writing therapy. Every day, I read the latest news story about another negative appointment to the President- elect’s cabinet. Who knew there were so many people who both seem to despise the role of government AND also want to lead it? While alarming, those aren’t even the most upsetting parts of my daily doldrums. What really brings me down are the ...Read More

Filling in the Gaps: How Developmental Theory Supports Social Emotional Learning in Afterschool Programs

This spring issue  of the Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities (JELO) launched at the 2016 BOOST conference and features a conversation about quality programming in afterschool, an article on the role that social emotional learning can play to close the achievement and learning gaps, and an article focusing on the links between professional development and quality STEM learning experiences. The JELO serves as an important resource for the expanded learning field as well as makes the connec...Read More