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 2018 - Issue 169
April is #National Volunteer Month. May is when many youth organizations celebrate completion of another school year.
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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What Are Ways You Connect with People and Ideas?
The school bus doesn't just carry kids. It should include adults, too. It represents a collection of people moving toward a common goal.

I hosted Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences in Chicago every six months between May 1994 and May 2015.  While as many as 350 people attended in the late 1990s and as few as 75 at the first one in 1994 and last one in 2015, I could still only connect in one-on-one conversations with a few. And those who attended were only a fraction of all the people in Chicago who were already involved in helping kids move through school, or of those who needed to be involved.
That's why I've spent so much time on the Internet over the past 20 years and why I keep inviting people working with kids to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and/or Linked in, and to draw from ideas I share on the Tutor/Mentor Blog, the Mapping for Justice blog, and the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site.
I did not originate the bus graphic shown above. A version was created this spring by Melva Kurashige, an educator from Germany, who I met via a Connected Learning community that I first joined in 2013.  I just copied the image when she shared it, then added my own additional message. Here's another article where I did the same.
You can find the #clmooc Twitter group on this hashtag cMap, along with several dozen other communities that I interact with. I encourage you to spend some time opening the links and looking at "latest" conversations. One that I encourage is called "New Teachers to Twitter, #nt2t" which helps new users become comfortable in the Twitter world.  Others can follow chats like this, learn from what's said, and share your own experiences.
Or you can launch your own. Perhaps "Tutor/Mentor Ecosystem on Twitter" could become a chat. #TMET anyone?

HOPE. It's a Powerful Medicine.
In what ways is the youth organization you lead or support providing hope and opportunity to the youth who participate?
In the cMap  featured  above I point to sections of the Tutor/Mentor web library that focus on hospitals and universities as anchor organizations which could be supporting the growth of mentor-rich non-school organizations in the area surrounding each hospital or university.   You can find the graphic in this Dec. 2017 article
I've been creating strategy visualizations since the mid 1990s and cMaps since 2005. Unlike PowerPoint visualizations, in most cMaps I can embed links to web sites and to sections of the Tutor/Mentor web library, which I've been building since the late 1990s. I can also point to other cMaps.  

When I say "mentor-rich" I am describing an organization with volunteers from many different backgrounds, colleges and careers who help make a wide range of learning available to youth in each program.

Does your organization try to do this? How do you visualize such a strategy?  

Here's some ideas:

Volunteers can help you build a mentor-rich program. - read more

Mentor Role in Larger Strategy - read more 

Steps to Start and Sustain a Volunteer-Based Tutor/Mentor Program - read more
As you and your leaders and volunteers plan for the start of the 2018-19 school year the links and articles I point to are intended to help stimulate your own thinking about what you'd like to include in your program, while also motivating donors to provide the resources to help you.

How Many High Poverty Youth are in Different Chicago Community Areas? New Report Available....Free.
45 of Chicago's community areas have more than 1,000 youth, age 6-17, below poverty line. How many k-12 tutor and/or mentor programs are available in each area to serve them?
Find the full PDF report in this blog article
The report includes map views like shown above for different sections of Chicago. The yellow numbers are data from 2011 used when I first issued this report in 2013. In each box I show the number of high poverty youth and what percent this represents of total youth in the age 6-17 age group, for each community area. 

The blue boxes show data received from the Social Impact Research Center at the Heartland Alliance in 2018. You can see how the number and percent total has changed, up and down, for every community area.
The green stars on the map are locations of known non-school tutor and mentor programs. I've been collecting this information since 1994 and I point to web sites of more than 200 Chicago non-school programs in this section of the Tutor/Mentor Connection web site. 

The graphic at the right is from this article. It visualizes the need for a team of volunteers and paid staff to be supporting each individual program in Chicago to help it be the best it can be.  However, it also suggests that such teams need to be in place, and focusing on individual community areas, so each area has a full range of programs and is reaching a growing percent of the k-12 youth, and opportunity youth, living in each community area.
In addition, there should be a team in the city, in the Mayor's office, and in different industry and education groups, looking at every community area, with the goal of filling each with a wide range of constantly improving non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs.

What makes what I've been doing unique, and what I hope others will duplicate, is an on-going effort intended to draw attention, volunteers and dollars directly to each tutor and mentor program in my on-line directory, with the program's web site serving as the information people use to decide who to support, and in what ways.


I've been sharing this message for many years, but it's difficult to know who has been responding. As youth, volunteer and staff researchers and community organizers find web sites showing uses of maps the way I've been describing, please send the links to me, and share them on Twitter, so I can add them to the Tutor/Mentor library and others can learn from work already being done.
Examples can come from Chicago or any other city in the US, or the world.

Like what you are reading? Share with others. This is a FREE  newsletter. However, contributions are needed to help me continue to make this available. click here 

Involving Youth and Volunteers. 
Are your students and volunteers involved in research, planning and capacity building that helps your Tutor/Mentor program grow?  
Last month I watched the #MarchforourLives speeches delivered in Washington, DC and was impressed by the poise and thoughtfulness of each speaker.   I included the photo at the left, and the concept map shown above, in this blog article .

In the past month I was a virtual participant in several other events that drew together hundreds of non profit leaders, social entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Three were:

* Collective Impact forum - click here
* Skill World Forum - click here
* Policy Link Equity Summit 2018 (held in Chicago) - click here
Issues of philanthropy were discussed in all three. In two of these the same person was on the panel. That was Vu Le, of Rainier Valley Corps in Seattle.
Here's the link to the two videos. I encourage you to watch.
Collective impact video - click here  Vu Le starts talking at 1:14 point in video
Skoll World Forum video - click here
For movements to succeed, or for youth tutor/mentor programs to have long-term impact, innovating new ways to draw consistent, on-going, flexible funding to every program in every high poverty neighborhood has to happen.  In this section
of the Tutor/Mentor library is a collection of links showing challenges and opportunities of philanthropy. 
More resources added recently to Tutor/Mentor web library
* Promise of Place - report from Campaign for Black Male Achievement - click here
* Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law - resource toolbox - click here
* The Equality of Opportunity Project - Race and Opportunity in the US - click here
* Long term study shows impact of race on Black boys - click here
See more resources below.  Use them to build a deeper understanding of issues and to see how some people are already finding paths to solutions which could be duplicated in other places.  

Plan to attend MENTOR Illinois May 18 awards breakfast in Chicago. Nominations for awards due April 25.  Find details here.

Additional resources to help Chicago area organizations and supporters connect, learn and work collectively to help build support systems for youth:

* ILGiveBig Spring Giving Day - May 3, 2018. Details

* 2018 #OnTheTable, May 8, 2018 - click here 
* Illinois Conference on Volunteer Administration, Aug. 15, 2018 - click here
* Strengthening Chicago Youth  blog - click here

* To&Through Project website. Find information showing progress of CPS freshmen to and through 4-year college. Find ways to help.  click here

* MENTOR Illinois resources for mentors page -click here
* Chicago Organizations in Intermediary Roles - click here

* Tutor/Mentor Blog article showing list of frequently used links - click here
* Strategy Presentations in Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Library - 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 can you do to help? - click here

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