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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Catching Grit

Grit is defined on paper as “courage and resolve; strength of character.” My son, Oliver, turned 13 a few months ago and recently received an opportunity to demonstrate what it means in practice. He has played Irvine Pony League baseball since he was seven. I never asked him if he wanted to play. I signed him up because I wanted to share the experience with him. I threw him a thousand pitches in the park before he ever played his first game. He started in 2016, playing at the “Pinto Machine Pitc...Read More

6 Meeting Makeovers to Try This Fall

Our friends at the Born This Way Foundation hosted #BeKind21 this September. It is a global call to action to practice acts of kindness with the mission of building kinder, more connected communities that foster mental wellness. At Healthier Generation, we love this concept so much we want to continue the spirit of #BeKind21 and keep building our “kindness team” into the fall. Ready to join in? Below are 6 meeting makeover ideas to cultivate self-kindness and kindness to others! 1-2, Start Your ...Read More

Calming Back-to-School Jitters for LGBTQ Youth

Will I make friends? What if I get lost? Will I like my teachers? What if I do something embarrassing? These are the back to school jitters we’re used to helping youth navigate. We have all kinds of strategies to help young people feel comfortable in their new classroom or after school program — putting their name on a desk or name tag, icebreakers, activities that encourage youth to get to know each other — the list is endless. But consider the young person who is unsure of his or h...Read More

ExScaredEd: Fear & Excitement of the Unknown

This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on September 5, 2017. 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. W...Read More

The Power of Positive Thought

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, life can become overwhelming. As youth workers we want the young people we work with to embrace the positive messages of the holiday season, be it gratitude and thankfulness to knowing that they are loved and cherished. While we go the extra mile at work to ensure our youth enjoy their holiday season, we may also be stressing about our personal schedules and responsibilities around the holidays. How will I find time to purchase all those presents...Read More

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

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