Posted in BOOST Breakfast Club on December 03, 2013 by Jamaine Smith
Imagine with me, that 13 year old Steven walks through the door of your out of school time program. His thick eyebrows are furrowed over low eyes. His lips twisted into a sullen scowl. You excitedly greet him at the door with an extended hand. "Good Afternoon, Steven!!" He mumbles an unenthusiastic "Hi", limply shakes your extended hand, and walks away with hutched over shoulders. Clearly something is up. Now of course you can check in with Steven by asking him if he is okay: "No" he replies. "Do you want to talk about it?" He hesitates then whispers "No." You reply with an "Okay", but you can also try the following Arts-based check in:
In BuildaBridge classrooms we create an area that is stocked with some blank drawing paper, colored pencils or markers, books, music player and headphones, etc. We refer to this space as our "Peace" or "Thinking Corner" (however, you can feel free to call it whatever you would like). This space is ideal for student self-soothing, also known as emotional self-regulation, as students can utilize the space whenever they feel angry, tired, sad, anxious, etc. to help calm themselves down.
Posted in BOOST Breakfast Club on November 26, 2013 by Kristin
BOOST Collaborative's Program Manager Rachel Ruiz had the pleasure of interviewing Jack Andraka, a Maryland high school sophomore who at age 15 invented an inexpensive and sensitive dipstick-like sensor for the rapid and early detection of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers. He learned that the lack of a rapid, low-cost early screening method contributed to the poor survival rate among individuals with pancreatic cancer. After thinking further about the problem, he came up with a plan and a budget to put his ideas in motion. The diagnostic method he developed is more than 90 percent accurate in detecting the presence of pancreatic cancer's biomarker protein called mesothelin, and has earned him several prizes, awards, and recognitions.
What inspired you to pursue your research and what do you think youth can learn from your example?
Posted in BOOST Breakfast Club on November 22, 2013 by Tara Donahue
This year, I had an opportunity to help my sister set up her sixth grade classroom. Outside the door, she had the following poster:
T: Is it True?
H: Is it Helpful?
I: Is it Inspiring?
N: Is it Necessary?
K: Is it Kind?
Posted in BOOST Breakfast Club on November 19, 2013 by Gaby Baeza
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last several years, you are well aware of the issue of bullying in schools. It seems there isn't a week that goes by that I don't catch a news story, receive a flyer for training, or get a call from a school about this growing problem. We all know media is not always the best at portraying the most accurate picture of a problem and can often times even lead to a false sense of urgency. However, recently there has been talk about bullying and its connection to suicide. I'd like to explore this issue with you and provide you with some resources that might help make sense of it all.
Is bullying truly a problem or is it that kids just don't know how to handle tough situations? It is reported that during the 2007-2008 school year, a total of 32% of the nation's 6th-12th grade students reported being bullied (Dinkes, Kemp, and Baum, 2009). Of these students, 21% reported being bullied once or twice per month while 10% reported being bullied one or twice per week. Lastly, 7% of these kids reported being bullied every day. Some folks (those who don't work at a school usually), would consider these numbers somewhat low. However, if you are a teacher, principal, after-school staff member, counselor, or any other person working directly with students, you know that these numbers are accurate. You also know that these numbers do not even begin to illustrate the amount of energy and resources it takes to support a student or group of students who are being impacted by bullying.