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.

 
January-February 2018 - Issue 166
 
New Year. Same Old Challenges. Get Informed. Get Others Involved.

Want to know more about Dan Bassill (me) and the goals of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC? Listen to this podcast interview.
 
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.  Spend a little time each week reading the articles and following the links. Use in group discussions with people who are concerned about the same issues. Create a blog like this sharing your own ideas.
 
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Local Leadership Needed to Build and Sustain Mentor-Rich Programs in More Places 
Maps of Chicago and other places can show where youth need extra help that non-school programs provide. Leaders needed at the program level, the neighborhood level, and the city level.
 
You can find this graphic in this Tutor/Mentor blog article.
 
Maps of Chicago and other cities show where poverty is most concentrated. These are areas where youth and families need good schools, and where they need great non school tutor, mentor and learning programs.  
 
No program starts off great. It takes a few years to build trust, participation, a culture, and a support system.  And, it takes 12 years for a first grader to finish high school.  The oil well icons on the map above intend to show that great programs are needed in many places, and they need to be there for many years.
 
Each program needs a board of directors and diverse base of volunteers along with community support and a consistent source of funding to become great, then stay great for many years. 
 
In 2011 Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC created a map presentation showing the number of youth age 6-17, in each Chicago community area, who were living below the poverty line. (see pdf) For instance the Austin area had 6356 and the North Lawndale area had 4717.  If a non school tutor/mentor program were serving 50-75 kids, it would take quite a few programs just to reach half of the kids in these areas.

 
Thus, while each program needs great leadership and support, neighborhood leadership is also needed to assure there are enough programs to serve as high a percent of the K-12 youth,  in a zip code or community area, as possible.
 
At the city level the Mayor should be looking at maps like this, and have a team in place to help grow the number of well-organized programs that are needed in every community area.  That means mobilizing public and private dollars and making sure they flow to all programs, not just to a few select groups, or to a few types of program providers.
 
This is not a new message. It's one that I start every year with and that I support throughout the year with blog articles, social media posts and many one-on-one conversations.
 
Recommended reading: 
 
* So many problems. Building networks for solutions - read
* Stopping the violence. Invest in the neighborhoods - read
* Black Families Fleeing Chicago; Ending in Segregated Suburbs - read
 
Read more articles like this on Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC blog.
 
Making Strong Programs Available in More Places: What's the Plan? What Information Are You Using?
Every youth serving organization competes with the others for the same operating resources. Let's innovate ways to increase the pool so there's more for all the programs that are needed in big cities like Chicago.
 
You can find this graphic in this article where I ask "What do we need to do to fill every high poverty neighborhood with great non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs"
 
I've been creating maps and visualizations since 1994 to show where existing non-school tutoring/mentoring programs are located in Chicago and where more are needed...and to show roles leaders can take to draw attention and needed support to programs in every high poverty neighborhood.
 
Visit this page to see my most updated list of Chicago area programs. 

This graphic shows the number of programs in my list for different sections of the city and suburbs (view article with map).  For this information to remain useful, I need help from people in different areas who will help update my information, tell me about new programs, or programs I don't know about, and tell me when programs are no longer operating. 
 
Recommended Reading:
 
* Expanding social capital for youth living in concentrated poverty - read
* Connecting People and Ideas - click here
*  Birth to work blueprints needed - click here
* Reaching out to universities - click here
 
Nothing happens until someone reads these articles, then invites others to do the same. This is an on-going process, where many can take leadership roles.  
 
What's Your Planning Cycle Look Like?
 
Building and sustaining a well-organized mentor-rich program is a challenge. Making enough programs available in all areas is an even bigger challenge. Attracting young people and keeping them involved through high school is an even greater challenge.

This concept map can be seen in this article.  
 
Where do you get your ideas?
What data do you use to show why your youth organization is needed where it is?  What research do you point to? What models do you look at and say "I want to do what they do."  How do  you show your vision, theory of change, strategy and successes on your web site?
 
These are all questions that Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC points to on its web sites and blogs. I don't claim to have the answers. The articles I point to are intended to expand your thinking, so you can innovate solutions that work for you and your community. You just need to spend a little time, on an on-going basis, to browse the sites and know what's there.
 
For instance, where do you find data indicators? You can see the map below at this link.  Under each graphic are links to web sites with rich data and mapping tools. 
 
 
What other resources can you find on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web sites? Here's a concept  map that shows the four sections of the web library I've been building since the mid 1990s.
 
Visit this article where I've used Thinglink to highlight what's in each section. 
 
Another way to know what's in the library is to visit this article, where I have a list of links that I point to often in my articles. This points you to each sub section of the web library, my visual PDF presentations and my concept maps. 

Find other articles related to starting, sustaining tutor/Mentor programs -click here
 
Here are some resources you'll find in the library .
 
Understanding Black History, Race and Class in America. Three sections of the web library contain articles related to this topic.
 
* Black History month - click here
* Poverty, Race and Inequality - click here
* Equal Justice, Poverty Law & Juvenile Justice - click here
 
Here' are some other links of interest that are recent additions to the web library:
 
* Story map shows life and words of Dr. M.L.King, Jr. - click here
* A Graphic Re-Visioning of NonProfit Overhead - click here
* Who Are The Poor Americans? - click here
* Cook Central - Cook County GIS web portal - click here
* How Poverty Can Follow Children into Adulthood - click here
* Education Can't Solve Poverty. So Why Do We Keep Insisting That It Can - click here
* Understanding issues of rural vs urban America - click here 
* Engage students in local-global problem solving - click here
 
Other links of interest:
 
* 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

* 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
 
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.
 
Wishing you all a Happy, Healthy,
Hopeful and Safe 2018.
 
Thank you to all who made contributions in 2017 to help me keep the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC ideas and resources available to you and others.
 
Your help is still needed in 2018. Click here to contribute.
  
Tutor/Mentor Connection, 
Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
 
Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, Il 60654 
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