Use the ideas and resources shared monthly to help youth in your zip code have opportunities to participate in well-organized, mentor-rich, non-school programs.

April - May 2017 - Issue 157
Support Growth of Needed K-12 Youth Organizations in All High Poverty Areas
The ideas shared in this monthly newsletter can be used by youth organization leaders, resource providers, political leaders, universities, volunteers and youth to help mentor-rich programs thrive in all of the neighborhoods where they are most needed.
While I try to send this only once a month, I write blog articles weekly. In the sections below I post links to a few of the articles published in the past month or earlier.  I encourage you to spend a little time each week reading these articles and following the links. Use the ideas and presentations in group discussions with other people who are concerned about the same issues.
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This Week is 20 Year Anniversary of the 1997 President's Summit for America's Future....
Dan Bassill and Tutor/Mentor Connection were at the Summit in 1997 as part of Chicago delegation and as one of 50 Teaching Examples 
See reflection in this blog article.
In 1997 I was using tools available at that time to show leaders how they could use maps as part of planning a distribution of talent, technology and operating dollars to help non-school, volunteer-based tutoring, mentoring and learning programs be available to k-12 youth in more high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago and other cities.

I'm still doing that.  Unfortunately, while mapping of data and indicators of need is much easier to do and more common in 2017 than in 1997, using maps as part of an on-going strategy to identify and support the growth of needed youth and family support services, by leaders in business, faith groups, hospitals and universities, is not yet happening in Chicago or across the nation.
The America's Promise organization was created in 1997 to implement the goals set at the President's Summit and hosted a 20 year anniversary in New York on April 17 and 18 to celebrate work that has been done and focus on work that still needs to be done.  Click here to learn more,  view archives of the celebration and to see how you can get involved. Use hash tag #recommit2kids to connect with others on Twitter.
As I connected with others on Twitter, I encouraged three actions

* Form personal learning habits and learning organizations in your company, faith group, college, etc. Dig into information available on the Americas Promise web site,  the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web sites, and in the Tutor/Mentor web library. 

* Encourage your volunteers, board members, alumni, etc. to use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. to do regular "shout-outs" telling about their role in your organization and providing your web site address.
* Browse the Tutor/Mentor Connection list of Chicago area non-school tutoring, mentoring and learning orgs. It's organized by sections of the city and suburbs. Adopt a program with your time, talent and dollars.  See map and list.

If you know of a program that needs to be added, or moved from one part of the list to another, or that needs to be deleted, please send info to
On April 4, 2017 Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago launched a new campaign to reduce violence in Chicago neighborhoods. 
See video of Cardinal's announcement and Tutor/Mentor Connection comments at this link
I point to web sites of more than 200 Chicago non-school programs in one section of the Tutor/Mentor Connection web site. In other sections of the library I point to youth programs in other cities, or who don't have a volunteer tutor/mentor strategy. I encourage volunteers, board members and staff to spend time looking at what other programs are doing, with the goal of borrowing ideas that might work in your own programs.     
If leaders of faith groups were to fill the blue box on the graphic at the left, (connecting people who can help, with information they can learn from, and programs in places where help is needed), they could be providing on-going leadership that helps fill high poverty, and high violence, neighborhoods with a wide range of needed tutoring, mentoring, learning and jobs programs.

Building great programs, and helping kids from first grade to adult jobs and careers, is not a short term solution, which is why anchor organizations, such as faith groups, banks, hospitals and universes , as well as police stations and libraries, need to take this role and support the growth and operations of needed programs for decades, not months. 
These articles are part of a knowledge base that is available to leaders in faith groups, business, universities, etc. Read:
* Role of Leaders pdf -  click here
* Strategic Plan (vision) for a Hospital Tutor/Mentor Connection - click here
* Forming University based Tutor/Mentor Connection - click here
* Creating a deeper understanding of problem and potential solutions - click here

Use these and other ideas shared in this newsletter, and on Tutor/Mentor web sites as a resource for your own planning and involvement. 
Program Design - How Do You Communicate This?
As we near the end of one school year, we look forward to the start of the next. Use this time to think about program design and how what you do expands the network of support for kids who come to your program. Share this on your web sites.
Read articles about program design - click here, and click here
How does your youth program connect students to volunteers from different work backgrounds and provide learning experiences that expand a student's aspirations?

The graphic above, and the one at the left, illustrate that volunteers coming from technology, arts, finance, engineering, performance, journalism, and other backgrounds can not only model the work they do, but could be helping to set up extra learning activities in tutor/mentor programs that enable youth to learn skills related to different types of careers.
I posted an article recently about urban farming in Chicago. This could be an activity of many site based programs. read here 
The PDF titled "Total Quality Mentoring" is intended to show how volunteers from different industries could help expand learning opportunities in site based tutor/mentor programs.

These are just a few of many learning activities that volunteers could help make available to youth, or that industries could make available to youth in multiple programs.  However, unless you create a page on your web site to show your theory of change, and your interest in developing extra learning activities, volunteers and donors won't know what you do, and are less likely to help you.
As part of many extra learning activities, youth could help programs communicate their strategies. See video on this page of animation created by intern. 
Other resources to look at 
* Business support of youth organizations - a virtual corporate office - click here
* Role of talent volunteers - click here
* Shoppers guide - click here

When you look at my blog articles, think of how I have written similar stories every week for more than 10 years. If many others do the same we might be able to capture more public and donor attention to support the work non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs do.  Read this article about a Tutor/Mentor Connection "do-over". 
Make Time for Learning. Encourage Volunteers, Board Members, Donors and Students to Draw from On-Line Resources
The Tutor/Mentor web library includes articles for resource providers as well as program leaders and volunteers.  
There is a huge amount of information in this monthly newsletter, and on Tutor/Mentor blogs. It's not intended to be read and digested in a single sitting. It's intended to be part of on-going learning and process improvement.    

Additional resources to help Chicago area organizations and supporters connect, learn and work collectively to help build support systems for youth:
* Strengthening Chicago Youth  blog - click here
* Thrive Chicago events calendar - click here

* MENTOR Illinois - current newsletter
* 2017 #OnTheTable, May 16, 2017. click here
* May 30-31 #ILGive fundraising event - click here

* August 2017 Illinois Conference on Volunteer Administration - click here
* Chicago Organizations in Intermediary Roles - click here

* Tutor/Mentor Blog article with frequently used links - click here

Dan Bassill (that's me) is available to discuss any of these ideas with you, or others, via Skype, Google Hangouts or in person if you're in Chicago.
Tutor/Mentor Connection, Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
 Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, Il 60654 |

What am I doing and Why Do I Keep Trying - click here
Click here if you want to help me do this work. 

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Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303,  Chicago, IL 60654