Events and Keynotes

Below is a detailed schedule of events, keynotes, and what to expect at the 2018 BOOST Conference!

*Please note this schedule is subject to change


Pre-Conference Academies

11:00am – 5:00pm (6 hours) 

Gallup logo

Maximizing Student Strengths in Out-of-School Time
Using the Gallup StrengthsFinder with Students and Program Staff 

1:00pm-4:00pm (3 hours) 


H.E.A.R.- Helping Everyone Achieve Respect 

Click here for more information about all of our Pre-Conference Academies. 

BOOST Conference Orientation

BOOST Conference Attendee Promising Practices: How to Navigate the Conference and Make the Most of Your Professional Development Experience

Are you new to BOOST? Have you attend BOOST in the past but need a refresher? Stay up-to-date on attendee promising practices during our on-site orientation to help you maximize your time and learning before the conference, during the conference and how to stay connected post conference. Topics covered: 

- Preparing for the conference
- How to get involved and play a leadership role at BOOST 
- Tips on Networking 
- Navigating the Exhibit Hall 
- Determining the best learning opportunities for your professional development needs 
- How to use the conference app to maximize your conference experience and much, much more! 

BOOST Conference Orientation will take place every hour on Tuesday, May 1 (1:00pm-5:00pm) and Wednesday, May 2 (7:00am-11:00am)  

Room location: Palm Springs Convention Center Lobby   

BOOST Swim Club

1:00pm – 5:00pm

Not attending a Pre-conference Academy? No problem. Catch some rays, good vibes, and gear up for the conference. Dance to the grooves of our resident DJ and play water games during this pre-conference networking mixer! Sunscreen not included.  


Welcome Reception

5:30pm – 6:30pm

Join us for our early evening opening reception poolside. Connect with colleagues and make new friends while the sun sets against the San Jacinto mountains. A perfect way to start the conference!

Annual Hat Contest

Hat Contest

BOOST is continuing our creative and fun tradition at our Annual Opening Reception so get ready to celebrate in style. Show up at the opening poolside reception on Tuesday evening and show off. Don’t forget to bring a hat! Glamorous headpieces, outrageous-themed head wear, fancy floral arrangements, sports-themed caps or boost your company/agency flair! 

Be entered into one of 3 different Hat Contest categories: Most Glamorous, Best Theme, and Most Creative.

The Opening Reception is truly a day to celebrate in Palm Springs with colleagues from all over the globe.

Pop-Up Dinners


Looking for dinner plans while at the BOOST Conference? Want to meet and network with new, awesome and like-minded BOOSTers?  Join our Pop-up Dinners for just that purpose! Space is limited. *Please note that you must be registered to attend the 2018 BOOST Conference and your account paid in full in order to register for Pop-Up Dinners.

pop-up-dinner signage  

Non-Profit Leadership Pop-Up Dinner hosted by Richard Reyes, PLUS ME Project, Los Angeles, CA 
Register now!

BOOST Pop-Up Dinner hosted by Lissa Tsu, BOOST Leadership Team, San Diego, CA 
Register now! 

LGBTQ+ Pop-Up Dinner hosted by Dr. Vincent "Vinnie" Pompei, Human Rights Campaign, Washington, D.C. 
Register now!

Early Childhood Pop-Up Dinner hosted by Nicole Baitx-Kennedy, Oceanview School District, Orange, CA
Register now!

Serving Our Diverse Student Populations Pop-Up Dinner hosted by Dr. Nancy Dome, Epoch Education, Inc., El Verano, CA
Register now!

ESCAPE ROOM Palm Springs


A fun and exciting team building experience where you and your team will work together to achieve a common goal, and in doing so, bond, strengthen your relationships, and improve communication and teamwork. Each game is 60 minutes in length and includes an orientation and debriefing after each game.

This special event is $20 per person and is first-come, first-served. Complete this form (specify if you would like to sign up for Game 1 or Game 2) and submit to us. Upon receipt, we will contact you with a private link to register and pay for this event. Transportation is on your own. 

Game 1- 7:00pm-8:00pm

Titanic 1 (8 players total) - SOLD OUT!
Titanic 2 (8 players total)
Bank Heist (6 players total) - SOLD OUT!
Locker Room (10 players total)
Vampire's Lair (10 players total)
Jack the Ripper (10 players total) - ONLY 6 SPOTS LEFT!
 Merlin's Magic School (10 players total)

Game 2- 8:30pm-9:30pm 

Titanic 1 (8 players total) - SOLD OUT!
Titanic 2 (8 players total) - SOLD OUT!
Bank Heist (6 players total) - SOLD OUT!
Locker Room (10 players total) - ONLY 3 SPOTS LEFT!
Vampire's Lair (10 players total)
Jack the Ripper (10 players total) - ONLY 3 SPOTS LEFT!
Merlin's Magic School (10 players total)

EscapeRoomPS logo 


Breakfast with Exhibitors


Mingle with our exhibitors and enjoy a healthy breakfast in the Exhibit Hall. It's a great way to start your day!

Conference Opening & General Session

8:45am – 9:45am

Positivity Rocks!

Join Matthew Emerzian, Founder of Every Monday Matters, as he takes us on a journey to create positivity in the world through an intentional and artistic community-building session. We believe that inspiration fills your tank and the ripple effect of spreading kindness. We believe in YOU! #YouMatter

Kindness-Rocks  emm-logo

The Celerity EXL Dance team is comprised of students in grades 4-8 at Celerity Achernar Charter School in Compton, CA. The EXL dance team is an extension of the day school performing arts program which consists of vocal, dance, acting. Students work alongside their instructor, Chris Smith, an NAACP award-winning choreographer to fine tune the techniques they've learned during the school day and master choreography for special dances.

Achernar Dancers

2018 OSTI (Out-of-School Time Innovations) Awards


BOOST Break with Exhibitors & Meet the Authors

9:45am – 10:15am

Join your colleagues in the Exhibit Hall for networking and lots of awesome raffle prizes! Mingle with Exhibitors and have the opportunity to learn about the latest resources, curriculum, and services to enhance your program. See your conference program for the Meet the Authors schedule. 


Lunch & General Session

12:30pm– 1:30pm

2018 General Session: LEARNING CURVE: Confessions of a Special Ed Kid
Written and performed by Jodie Knowles

knowles-learning-curveA powerful and moving one-woman play that tells the true story of a kid growing up in the special education system. This performance is honest, raw, and emotional and gives validation to those that often feel alone and different. Told from a personal perspective, Jodie hopes that all educators, teachers, school counselors, parents, activists, and civic leaders begin to understand the lived LD/ADHD experience, not only the academic struggle, but also the social and emotional reality that students in Special Ed go through every day. She explores the school-to-prison pipeline, over-diagnosing, medicating, isolation, segregation and expulsion of students while breaking the silence of shame and stigma around these issues. 



BOOST Break with Exhibitors & Meet the Authors

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Join your colleagues in the Exhibit Hall for snacks, networking, and lots of awesome raffle prizes! Mingle with Exhibitors and have the opportunity to learn about the latest resources, curriculum, and services to enhance your program. See your conference program for the Meet the Authors schedule. 


BOOST Live Networking Reception

4:45pm – 6:00pm

Whether you are relaxing after a long day or ready for a night out, take the time to connect with your team and meet new colleagues at our poolside networking reception. Light snacks and cash bar available.
Featuring Live Music by Dave Booda

Dave Booda 

After over 1,000 music gigs in most of the states in the U.S. and overseas, Dave Booda is a rare combination of an extremely talented performer and a consummate professional. He plays a huge selection of cover songs ranging from Motown, classic rock, modern R&B, soul and more. 
Dave’s 5-song EP entitled “Datcho Willy” mixes the rhythms of Jack Johnson and the voice of soul singers like Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder, and joins the new era of singer/songwriters known for “acoustic soul.” 
John Ciccolella, owner and manager of Twiggs, a venue that has long been home to San Diego musicians such as Jason Mraz and Bushwalla had this to say about Dave. “An excellent voice and intelligent, sometimes humorous lyric content puts Dave in the "must see" category of singer/songwriters.
Dave is also a writer, teacher and musician. He is the co-founder of IntimacyFest, an annual festival in Southern California that combines deep connection, self-expression and community. He writes weekly at and his work has been featured on ABC, NBC, National Geographic, Elephant Journal, Good Men Project and Thought Catalog. He is the host of three podcasts, Dude Panel Radio, Darken the Page and Boodaism. He also moonlights as his alter-ego Boodananda, a spiritually satirical Kirtan singer who travels the world performing high-vibrational music for enlightened audiences.
Dave Booda guitar
Jewelry for Sale by isiko isiko-logo only
isiko is an online marketplace that aims to preserve traditional handicrafts from cultures around the world by sharing their beautiful handmade home décor, bags, jewelry and accessories. Giving back is essential to the foundation of isiko. Every quarter we identify an organization in need and give back 10% of our sales to help their cause. Currently we are partnering with Sparkle & Shine, an organization providing education and life skills to young mothers in Swaziland.

Duck, Duck, BOOST Relay Race

Race starts at 6pm in the pool!


Oh yes, it’s a new twist on the classic Duck Race! Get your ducks in a row during the BOOST Live Reception on Wednesday evening. Cheer on our duck racers in our annual Duck, Duck, BOOST Relay Race in the pool! Who will be the lucky duck?! 

Duck, Duck, BOOST is a fundraiser for the BOOST Conference Scholarship Fund. This fund was developed in order to provide financial assistance for a lucky duck to attend next year's conference! Duck, Duck BOOST is a 50/50 fundraiser. 50% of the collected funds go towards the scholarship fund and 50% goes to the winning ticket holder. $5 BUCKS PER DUCK!  

BOOST Breakfast Club Blogger Team


Daniel Hatcher
Director, Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Washington, D.C.


ErikaPetrelliErika Petrelli
Senior Director of Leadership Development, The Leadership Program, New York, NY


Elizabeth Phillips PhotoElizaBeth Parker Phillips
Program Development Director, Child Development, Inc., Sacramento, CA


 Alliance Logo 2018Leadership Program  Child Development Inc

Brave BOOSTers Team

IanIan Young
Child Development Instructor, Brea Olinda Child Development Services, Brea, CA


JaimeJaime Beidler
CARES Supervisor, Orange Unified CARES Program, Orange, CA


MarisolMarisol Moreno-Villegas
Education Coordinator, Enrichment Program Division, Options for Learning, Covina, CA


CDS BOUSD Logo  CARES  Options for Learning

California Teaching Fellows Foundation Team

Rico PeraltaRico Peralta
Director of Professional Development, California Teaching Fellows Foundation, Fresno, CA


Lindsay CallahanLindsay Callahan
President and CEO, United Way, Fresno and Madera Counties, Fresno, CA


Josh BlechaJoshua Blecha
Region VII Lead for Expanded Learning Programs, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, Fresno, CA




BOOST Exhibitors Team

Bobby HawkeBobby Hawke
VP - Midwest Region, Lakeshore Learning Materials



Leo VanWarmerdamLeo Van Warmerdam
Director of Training & Development, Fulcrum Learning Adventures



Sandy-Spin-SladeSandy Slade
President/CEO, Skillastics, Corona, CA



 Lakeshore Learning Materials  Fulcrum Adventures 78. Skillastics

Prince & Purple Rain Homecoming Party

7:00pm – 10:30pm
Join the Homecoming celebration welcoming back former BOOST attendees as well as newcomers!

Homecoming Logo  Prince logo  homecoming-header

Dearly beloved- We are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. So tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1999! Admission is easy, just say you believe and come to this place in your heart, Paisley Park is in your heart. Everybody loosen up and shake it like you just don’t care! 

Costumes, raspberry berets, and lots of purple encouraged! DJ, dancing, appetizers and purple drink specials will be available for purchase. 

Homecoming Party Sponsors:

MARS-LogoStemfinity  Peachjar  School of Beats  


Morning Recess

6:45am – 8:30am 

Get up, wake up, rejuvenate! Bring your friends (and meet new ones) for Morning Recess. Maximize your morning and set the tone for your day. The U.S. Soccer Foundation Team will host a morning of pick-up soccer games and scrimmages. We'll be going over the fundamentals of soccer, practicing some fun warm-up exercises, and playing 3-on-3 competitive and non-competitive scrimmages. Participants will have the opportunity to win U.S. Soccer Foundation gear and prizes.

US Soccer Foundation Logo      

Snacks Provided by:


Tour de BOOST Walk/Scavenger Hunt

tourdeboost   BOOSTConference-2017-362

Join fellow BOOSTers on a fun Tour de BOOST walk and scavenger hunt around Palm Springs. This 3-mile hunt through scenic Palm Springs will lead you to some of Hollywood's most famous stars' Palm Springs getaways. Enjoy a beautiful Palm Springs morning, get some exercise, and best of all, connect with other BOOSTers as you figure out which Hollywood stars' homes you are going to visit!

All Tour de BOOST participants will meet in front of the Palm Springs Convention Center on the East Lawn. Please be prepared to complete paperwork and form your Tour de BOOST team at 6:45am. Teams will receive their clues and start the race promptly at 7:00am. Late arrivals cannot be accommodated. Please wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes. One smartphone and Twitter account will be needed per team to complete the scavenger hunt. If you don't have your own, bring a friend! Complimentary bottled water and snacks will be provided.

All Tour de BOOST participants must pre-register for this event. To sign up, access your online BOOST registration account, select Tour de BOOST, and make your payment. To sign up at the conference, visit the BOOST Collaborative Booth (0101 & 0105) in the Exhibit Hall. $20 Tour de BOOST fees are non-refundable and all proceeds benefit the Desert Art Center.


Snacks Provided by:


Breakfast with Exhibitors 


Mingle with our exhibitors and enjoy a healthy breakfast in the Exhibit Hall. It’s a great way to start your day!

Opening & General Session

8:45am – 9:45am Keynote
9:45am – 10:45am Meet & Greet and Book Signing (Exhibit Hall, BOOST Collaborative Booth 0101 & 0105) 


Bryan Stevenson is one of the country's most visionary legal thinkers and social justice advocates. A MacArthur fellow and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson is a founding leader of the movement against mass incarceration in the U.S. He recently served on President Obama's task force on 21st-century policing.  An inspiring and unflinchingly honest speaker, Bryan Stevenson talks about defending some of America’s most rejected and marginalized people. The stories he tells are heartbreaking, yet inspiring, and motivate audiences to make a change. 


Evaluation Cabana Hosted by American Institutes for Research

9:00am – 3:00pm 


For the third year in a row, AIR is hosting an Evaluation Cabana where you can meet one-on-one with one of AIR’s evaluation experts to discuss program evaluation and assessment. If you have ever wondered if your program is too new to evaluate or if an outside evaluator is needed, be sure to sign up.

Register for a complimentary 40-minute time slot on Thursday, May 3rd in our poolside cabana at no additional cost (must be a registered conference attendee).  Please click here: and complete the form. Space is limited to six participants.

Some example questions are:

- Is my program too new to evaluate? How do I know where to start?

- Should I use grades and test scores to evaluate my program?

- How many participants do I need to have data for to show an impact?

- Does an outside evaluator need to conduct my evaluation?

- How do I assess social and emotional skills?

Don't let these questions limit you!

As we know, quality programming and evaluation is the result of intentional planning, sharing, and reflection. Come see us in the cabana to learn more about developing, implementing, evaluating, and improving your afterschool program. 

Networking Lunch & Meet the Authors



Lunch will be served in the exhibit hall. Grab your lunch and take this opportunity to mix and mingle with exhibitors and participate in our Meet the Authors series throughout the exhibit hall. 

BOOST Break with Exhibitors & Meet the Authors


2:30pm – 3:30pm

Join your colleagues in the Exhibit Hall for snacks, networking and lots of awesome raffle prizes! Mingle with Exhibitors and have the opportunity to learn about the latest resources, curriculum, and services to enhance your program. See your conference program for the Meet the Authors schedule. 

Enjoy an hour of exclusive promotions and discounts from selected vendors in our Exhibit Hall. Shop 'Til You BOOST! 

THINK RED Inspire & Paint

6:00pm – 8:30pm  
TRWP Boost Logo 

The event will be hosted by professional Artist and drag queen Xrystal from Wine and Paint Social and BOOST Collaborative

Please join us for a fun event of painting while raising funds to benefit organizations that serve the San Diego HIV & AIDS community. This fun event will be guided by professional artist, Nathan Mohle, BFA of San Diego, CA.

100% of the proceeds go to the San Diego non-profit Think Red Project.

Paint  Inspire 2017 


Ticket includes:

• 2 hours of professional painting instruction

• Use of acrylic paints, paintbrushes, and easel

• 11" x 14” canvas for you to take home

Drink specials will be available for BOOST attendees participating in this event.
Think Red Project & Red Dress Party San Diego / 

Login and register for this event here

VillageFest Street Fair

6:00pm – 10:00pm

Locals and tourists happily mingle at the Palm Springs VillageFest held year round every Thursday evening on Palm Canyon Drive. An open-air street fair with more than 200 booths offering live music, fresh fruit stands, artists, craftsman, unique foods, and street entertainers to charm the crowd is a must for conference-goers. Admission is free and within walking distance from all of the BOOST conference hotels!


The Palm Springs Art Museum offers free public admission every Thursday evening from 4-8pm during VillageFest! The Art Museum currently has 28 galleries, five art storage vaults, two sculpture gardens, four classrooms/resource centers, a 90-seat lecture hall, the 433-seat Annenberg Theater, a Museum Store and a Café in an architecturally significant building designed by architect E. Stewart Williams at the base of Mount San Jacinto. An adjacent Administration building contains offices and a 12,000-volume Library.


Karaoke Party & Talent Show at Peabody’s Café


Calling all BOOST superstars! It’s time to get down and get your groove on at the BOOST Talent Show! You can bring your team, your friends, or come and find your new crew. Sit back and relax, people-watch from the sidewalk patio, or join in the karaoke party and let your talent shine! Don’t forget to wear your BOOST name badge… drink specials will be available exclusively for BOOST attendees. 
*Peabody’s is located at 134 S Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs. 

Peabodys Cafe logo

Dive-In Movie - Poolside (Free event!)

8:00pm – 10:00pm 

Grease album cover

That’s right - the Grease Sing-Along is coming to the 2018 BOOST Conference! BOOSTers will take a trip back to Rydell High to experience 1950s adventure, friendship, and romance! We encourage you to dress up as your favorite character from the movie and sing along to the timeless tunes of “Summer Nights”, “Beauty School Dropout”, “You’re the One That I Want” and more. 

Dress up like Danny Zuko or Sandy, Hand jive poolside, and fall in love with this classic 50s musical all over again. 

Gather poolside in a chaise lounge or on a raft in the pool and watch the film on the big screen! Drink and appetizer specials will be available. Rafts and BOOST beach towels will be available for purchase at the BOOST Gear Shop in the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday & Thursday only. 





It's a new twist on breakfast! Meet us on the PSCC East Lawn for a breakfast festival experience with a food truck, drum circle, lawn games, and yoga (BYOM- bring your own mat!) Coffee and breakfast burritos will be available for purchase. This is the perfect opportunity to say your farewells before heading to the closing & raffle.

This year, we'll be honoring students, staff, and educators who have lost their lives to gun violence in schools with a butterfly release. Join us to lend your voice to the Sandy Hook Promise, "I promise to do all I can to protect children from gun violence by encouraging and supporting solutions that create safer, healthier homes, schools, and communities."

Thanks to Insect Lore, Brea Olinda Unified School District, and Conejo Valley Unified School District for making this tribute possible.

BreakFEST Logo FINALABLE Logo vert tagDrumbusLogo-294x300  insectlore 1380308792 280  CDS BOUSD Logo  CVUSD Color Logo  SandyHookPromise

Closing & Raffle

11:15am – 12:00pm

Don't miss our fun and energetic conference closing with over $30,000 worth of raffle prizes! Get your raffle tickets at the door for a chance to win!

Play along all week with BOOST Conference Social Media Contests for an extra chance to win!

Extra Credit

12:00pm until..

You have attended workshops, networking events, met with exhibitors - now what? Take this opportunity to intentionally connect with your colleagues and begin your action planning and next steps. We have complimentary meeting space for you and your team to retreat and begin the process to focus on ideas and setting goals for end-of-year, summer, and upcoming school year.



Please note: Name badges are required to attend all BOOST Conference events including all meals and all workshops.  

Called a "tiny literary giant" by Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, twelve-year-old Adora Svitak is the world's youngest teacher and the published author of two books. She explores new technologies and their possibilities in education through her teaching and speaking. Adora's daily video conferences with students from around the world have earned her Berrien RESA's "Best Author and Expert" award for distance learning two years in a row. Adora's books are Flying Fingers, an engaging how-to handbook on writing for teachers, parents, and kids from a student's point of view, and Dancing Fingers, a collection of poetry she co-authored with her sister Adrianna.
Adora teaches students every day and posts her teaching videos online for educators and students to watch and learn. She also works with school districts and schools to present to teachers on technology integration and best practices. Adora travels around the country, giving keynotes and featured speeches to share her kids' eye view of learning and teaching. Adora frequents national and international media outlets including NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, the Oprah Winfrey Show, and CNN to advocate for education innovation around the world. A prolific writer on education and education technology, Adora has written for EdTech Magazine and the New Oriental Magazine (China). A prodigious blogger, Adora writes frequent posts on 21st-century learning at The Educators' Royal Treatment, a blog dedicated to education. She was nominated in 2009 for the Edublogs Student Blog Award.
To watch her daily teaching, please visit and
For more info about Adora, please visit

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BOOST Collaborative | 1286 University Ave #739 | San Diego, California 92103 | 619-23-BOOST (619-232-6678)

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