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.
 
Dec. 2017 - Issue 165
Wishing all a Very Healthy, Happy and Safe Holiday Season - Are You Ready for 2018?

 
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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Give HOPE for the Holidays, and Year-Round.
Hope is a powerful medicine that enables people to overcome even the most difficult challenges. 
 
See this concept map at this link - click here

 
In the concept map above one image is of a rose, and points to a video where an educator quotes Tupak Shakir's poem, "The Rose that Grew from Concrete", to show how powerful HOPE is in helping youth overcome huge challenges to grow up in high poverty communities.
 
The map points to other presentations where HOPE is identified as a secret ingredient that can be included as part of services offered by schools, social service agencies, tutor/mentor programs and many others who work with youth and families living in high poverty or trying to overcome natural disasters or other stressful conditions.

 
I worked for the Montgomery Ward Corporation in the 1970s and 1980s and understand how retail stores are distribution points for products and services that people desire. These are made available to the store through a wide range of vendors and manufacturers.
 
 
I think of site-based tutor/mentor programs as a form of retail store. They make many forms of learning available, through the volunteers who are tutors and mentors, and through partnerships with vendors who provide specialized learning, such as STEM, arts, coding, entrepreneurship, etc.  

I point to more than 200 Chicago youth orgs via this link, and many others around the country via this link and other sections of the Tutor/Mentor web library.
 
I'm not sure that very many, if any, think of themselves as a distribution point for HOPE and opportunity, although many are doing this as part of their services. I share these ideas with the goal that programs, volunteers, donors and leaders will look at them, and then innovate ways to show their own program design and long-term impact on their web sites and blogs.

Here's a couple of presentations related to this:

* Mentor Role in Larger Strategy - click here
 
* Virtual Corporate Office - click here
 
* Shoppers Guide - click here

If you know of a youth organization communicating these ideas and program design creatively and effectively on their web site, please share the link via Twitter (I'm @tutormentorteam) or via email: tutormentor2 at earthlink dot net.

 
The American Dream in Crisis...Needs New Solutions
This map story was created in 1996. It could easily have been created in 2017 in almost any major city in America. Why so little change over so many years?
 
See the story - click here

 
I have used this graphic for many years to show how volunteers from different backgrounds connect with youth in organized tutor/mentor programs, then share the work they do and the needs of the program and the kids, with people in their own work and family networks.

 

 
That idea is communicated in this video, which shows an animation created by interns from South Korea and Hong Kong who worked with me between 2007 and 2011.
 
My own answer to why we don't have better solutions is that "too few people care enough" to spend time, talent and dollars to build needed systems of support in every high poverty neighborhood of the US, even though we have the wealth to do this.

A more discouraging answer is that some people have deliberately fought against efforts that created equal opportunity for people of color and people in poverty. In two sections of the Tutor/Mentor library I point to articles that you can read to build your own understanding of these problems.

Black History Month - click here
Fighting inequality and political repression - click here

I add new links to the library regularly, but don't seek to have thousands of links on my site. Instead, I keep looking for others who are aggregating links on their web library, to some of the topics I focus on.  The issues of racial justice, inequality, and intentional manipulation of the US political system would be topics I'd like to find on a site with more extensive links than I offer.  
 

 
I share these links and point to my blogs and web library with the goal that any who read this will share it with others, and organize learning circles and discussion groups, so more people build a deeper understanding of the problems we face, and potential solutions.

You can see this graphic in this blog article.

 
Additional information and resources...
Below are just a few links from the Tutor/Mentor web library.  

* Help update, maintain & share Tutor/Mentor list of Chicago area programs - click here
 
* 2017 Global Education On-Line Conference - archive of all presentations - click here
 
* Core Knowledge and Competencies for Afterschool Professionals - click here
 
*  Community Restorative Justice Hubs in Chicago - click here

* Healthcare Anchor network - click here

* Spotlight on Poverty articles - click here

* Middleweb blog - focus on teaching and learning in grades 4-8 - click here
 
* Connected Learning #clmooc, on-line network - click here

 
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
 
* 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

* National Mentoring Summit - January 24-26, 2018 in Washington, DC - details

* Indiana Afterschool Network Out-of-School-Time Conference, April 9, 2018 - details
 
* Chicago Organizations in Intermediary Roles - click here
 
* See what's being discussed on Twitter - use Tutor/Mentor #hashtag map
 
*  View past Tutor/Mentor Newsletters - use for on-going learning - click here

*  List of links to sections of tutor/mentor library, concept maps and pdf essays I  point to frequently - 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 
tutormentor2@earthlink.net |  http://www.tutormentorexchange.net

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