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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Are You Listening? Leading with Care

They’re not listening to me! It’s a common complaint, especially when working with kids (though it’s said about adults, too!). I’m always fascinated by it. When the person is asking for help with the “problem,” I first ask, “Are you telling them what to do?” The response varies from “Well, yeah!” to “What do you mean by that?” What do I mean? I recently had the opportunity to return to a site for a few weeks—from beginning to end of the school day—and it has me thinking about what it means to le...Read More

When we listen to young people, the future is bright

Yesterday was Inauguration Day. And while the beginning of a new administration sits differently with individuals across the political spectrum, this year, in 2021, the change means so much to so many people. For those of us who work in education, out-of-school time, and youth development, seeing our first national youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, recite her poem “The Hill We Climb” during the inauguration ceremony was thrilling. A colleague texted me shortly after the performance saying, ...Read More

Being a Change Agent in Quarantine

With both in-person schooling and programs moving online, I didn’t have the resources at the time to transition to fully relying on digital platforms. I had adapted to having hands-on experiences and collaborating with other students in the same space to advocate for student voice and BIPOC communities. As a Gem Project fellow, I was really worried about how engaging the program could still be and how much I’d be learning about youth activism if our resources are limited. But The Gem Project’s e...Read More

It’s Time to Reframe the Narrative around Black Youth — and Youth Work Has Some Tools to Do So

This post originally appeared on the Breakfast Club Blog on June 9, 2017. His name is Jordan Edwards. And Jayson Negron. And Darius Smith. He was fifteen years old. He was unarmed at the time of his untimely demise at the hands of law enforcement. He was a young man of color caught on the wrong side of the thin line between potential and death. He should be participating in a summer jobs program, playing hoops at the Y, or compiling an initial list of colleges. He – Jordan, Jayson, and Darius – ...Read More

The Power Of Children

Last month, I asked Marlowe (my 11-year old) to write another post for me. She’s written here before, on everything from the importance of being yourself to summer planning. This time, I told her that Women’s History Month was coming up so I wanted to showcase a young woman’s voice. And I casually added, “maybe talk something about how powerful young people are, and how they are underestimated.” This was “before.” This was back when the coronavirus was t...Read More

Youth Participatory Evaluation: An Opportunity to Promote Youth Development and Program Improvement (Webinar #1)

In 2019, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance (IPA) hosted a free, two-part webinar series designed to support next-gen leadership and giving. The first webinar, “Youth Participatory Evaluation: An Opportunity to Promote Youth Development and Program Improvement,” explored concepts of Youth Participatory Evaluation (YPE) with Dr. Lori Palen of RTI International’s Center on Social Determinants, Risk Behaviors, and Prevention Science. Sharing Indiana examples of youth evaluative processes that included y...Read More

Enhancing SEO in the After School Space

The purpose of student engagement and outreach (SEO) is to provide holistic student-centered programs and services that enhance student life. Creating lasting memories through community engagement, connection building, and creative exploration is what after school is all about! Strong attendance with engaged students are signs of a successful after school program. It means that your program is inclusive, interesting, and valuable for children and parents alike. On the other hand, a lack of solid...Read More

5 Simple Ways Youth Can Inspire Change

I believe in the power of youth voice because youth can inspire change. Young people are experts on their own lives, and their lived experiences should be heard and used to advocate for change. We live in a time where advocacy and grassroots movements have been instrumental in highlighting social issues and bringing about positive change. We can empower youth to advocate for change that impacts their lives. To start, what is advocacy? In the most basic definition, advocacy is a way in which peop...Read More

Leveraging Wellness to Help Children Think Global and Act Local

Although the facts are alarming, conveying the importance of wellness to children can be challenging. Childhood obesity has almost tripled in children and adolescents in the past 30 years and today approximately one out of three children and adolescents in the United States is overweight or obese. Even more alarming, there are significant racial and ethnic disparities in obesity prevalence among U.S. children and adolescents. Research shows a strong link between a young person’s practice o...Read More