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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Creating A Space To Learn: 3 Essential Steps

The foundation of learning happens in spaces where youth feel safe, seen, and respected. Unfortunately, all learning environments are not developed with this in mind. The structural evolution of today’s K-12 classrooms has made little progress over the years. As youth practitioners and educators, we have the opportunity every day to support a more equitable learning environment by laying the groundwork, before youth enter our doors. It is an incredible responsibility for one person. Therefore, w...Read More

Fostering The Idea Of Opportunity

This blog was first published on the MCUVO!CE website and appears with permission by the author, first-time Breakfast Club Blogger Marcus Strother. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ As an educator, I have been able to work with a multitude of students. As a professional, I have been able to learn from a number of great mentors. I have allowed both of these opportunities to guide me on my journey as a youth advocate. I ...Read More

Youth Development Showdown: Nature vs. Technology

Take a moment to reflect on the last time you went on a hike, a camping trip, or any other type of outdoor experience. What was your mindset? How would you compare your attitude and outlook to your typical 9-to-5 self? I would bet there’s a stark difference. I experience this consistently with my two girls. The last time around was a Spring Break trip to Mammoth Lakes, a mountain town nestled in the Eastern Sierras. As much as my family loves the outdoors, my kids are not immune to their own 9-t...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

Learning to Give Time, Talent, and Treasure (Webinar #1)

In 2018, the Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII) and Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy partnered to host a free 4-part webinar series designed to support next-gen leadership and giving. Sessions featured national experts and Lilly Family School of Philanthropy faculty and students sharing research, resources, and examples of classroom-based grantmaking programs. The first webinar, “Learning to Give Time, Talent, and Treasure,” addressed how young people bring pas...Read More

 Fostering a Growth Mindset

I remember extending my right hand up in the air and waving it feverishly. I thought today “I had enough” after being ignored by my fourth-grade teacher too many times, today was the day I was going to speak up. Each day, I eagerly raised my hand to answer a question only to be overlooked. (Know that this is my fourth-grade perception of things.) I would watch her peer out into the classroom and scan all the buzzing hands, including mine, hoping she’d pick me. Ugh! Again, I thought, “she only pi...Read More

Words Are Powerful, Use Them Wisely

Growing up, I learned that I had to grow a thick skin. I know people will insult you, and I understand. However, I think it’s essential to emphasize teaching children speech that brings the best out them and others. As we begin a new year, let us become more mindful of our words. We should exchange words honestly, but tactfully. Sarcasm, jokes, and sharp, candid speech can be taken to heart, even if you’re kidding. Also, we must listen patiently and use our words to express sincere goodwil...Read More

A Time Of Transition And Growth

I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with youth development and out-of-school learning time since 1998. For the past eight years, I’ve been the Program Director of the Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII). In that time, I’ve watched as YPII built a strong local, national, and even international reputation as a thought-leader and become a significant resource for training on youth philanthropy, young people sharing their time, talents, and treasures.  Through numerous collaborations...Read More

Girltopia – It Is Achievable!

I have to say, it has been feeling a little dark and grey the past few weeks. It’s been hard to be a girl. The news and world around really haven’t been very empowering or positive, and quite frankly have been sucking the happy out of my soul. But after this past weekend, I feel like a little spark has been rekindled. My Girl Scout troop had a meeting to work on our Girltopia Journey. A journey is an opportunity for scouts to “explore new things, connect with friends and her community, and make ...Read More


Editor’s Note: Welcome first-time BOOST Blogger @bradfrommissouri! Brad is the state lead for the Missouri AfterSchool Network. Brad’s passion is to use his background and experience to develop and manage programs that enhance the lives of individuals and organizations. We are thrilled to have him join our esteemed blogger tribe!  —– Are you safe? It seems like an odd question, doesn’t it? After all, our afterschool programs provide a safe place for students to go when sc...Read More

Youth Development at a Hot Dog Stand

Good youth development practice can emerge in unusual places. For thirteen-year-old entrepreneur Jaequan Faulkner, good youth development came in the form of a street vendor permit. The teenager opened a hot dog business in his Minneapolis neighborhood on Penn Avenue North, meeting with early success and a booming business. Then young Jaequan ran into an obstacle that nearly upended his entrepreneurial pursuit – he lacked the proper permit to run a freestanding food stand. Jaequan had an idea an...Read More

Virtual Reality As A Tool For Social Emotional Learning? What’s Wrong With This Picture?

I’m going to make a bold statement here. As I traverse and explore the world of social-emotional learning  (SEL) in my new business, I am becoming better versed and attuned to the best practices among all the wonderful ways to implement social-emotional learning, youth development, and 21st-century skill building both in and out of school time. (And, I am learning every day #alwaysastudent). I read all the time, there is so much emphasis on the concept of working with the whole child. Now resear...Read More

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