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.

Summer 2016 - Issue 148
Planning for 2016-17 School Year Tutor, Mentor and Learning Programs.
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 blog 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. 
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Is Your Tutor, Mentor and Learning Program Building a Network of Support for Your Students?
Do you use visualizations on your web site to  communicate your program design?
These graphics intend to communicate the idea that a non-school, tutor/mentor program can be a place where youth from high poverty neighborhoods connect with a wide range of adults and learning experiences not common in their neighborhood.  They also illustrate the role of volunteers in helping expand support for programs they are part of. 
I've set up a page on Pinterest, where I share some of these graphics. In this set of graphics, I show work interns have done to create a new understanding of ideas I've shared. 

I include graphics like these in weekly blog articles.  I hope others will do the same.

* What are youth organizations doing to meet all needs of participating youth? click here

* Who should be reading Tutor/Mentor blog - click here

* My Learning/Research Process - click here
This link shows visualizations done by interns since 2005.  As you do your summer planning, I encourage you to develop projects that involve your students and volunteers in activities where they look at the strategy ideas I share, or that you share on your own web site, and then create their own visualizations to communicate your own program design and strategies.

It's a learning opportunity for students as well as a way to build deeper engagement and motivation and draw greater attention and support to your organization.  As you create your own visualizations, share them on your own Pinterest page.

Become an Intermediary. Recruit Others to Take This Role.
Each of these graphics describes a role that can be taken by many stakeholders.
During the 1970s and 1980s I held retail advertising roles with the Montgomery Ward Corporate Headquarters in Chicago. Advertising was one of many functional teams working to help over 400 stores in 40 states be the very best they could be.

I started leading the tutoring program at the Wards headquarters in 1975. At that time we started the school year with about 100 pairs of 2nd-6th grade kids and employee volunteers. By 1990 that was up to 300. By 1992 it was up to 440 kids and 550 volunteers.

As the program grew I saw my role as an intermediary, helping connect kids and volunteers to each other, and to information and activities that would help relationships grow, and participation continue from year to year. In this role I recruited and supported a growing team of other volunteers who took on functional roles in the organization, similar to the teams at the corporate headquarters.

When I started the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in 1993, I saw my role as an intermediary, helping every high poverty neighborhood in Chicago have a mix of tutor/mentor programs.  I've continued that commitment since 2011 through the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC

If you look at this strategy map, it shows a commitment to help kids move through school and into jobs, through participation in well organized, mentor rich programs.  It also shows the need to enlist leaders from every industry as partners and leaders in this strategy.  

Chicago still does not have many leaders who embrace this concept.  Since every youth serving organization would benefit from such leadership, I encourage everyone to take a role in recruiting such leaders, starting with your own volunteers and board members and the companies/places where they work.
Recommended Reading:
* Some focus on the act of tutoring or mentoring. I focus on the infrastructure needed to support volunteers and youth in well organized programs. click here
* Follow up to New York Times "race related" story - click here
* Show how you're using maps - click here

* Read about the Power of Advertising in program growth - click here
As we enter the second half of 2016 the conditions that motivated us to create the T/MC in 1993 still exist.  However, because we have a 20 year history, new leaders have a wea lth of ideas to follow if they want to take on this intermediary role.

Who Needs to Be Involved? 
Turn the "It Takes A Village to Raise a Child" phrase into a picture of leadership supporting growth of tutor/mentor programs in your neighborhood or city.
If you visited the strategy map that I wrote about above, then clicked in to the box on the upper left side of the map, you would open a "village map" which is shown on the left, in the above graphic.  If you clicked on the "skills needed" box at the upper right side of the strategy map, you'd see a different version of the graphic shown above at the right.
Until we can click into web sites of companies, faith groups, colleges and others represented on these concept maps, and see versions of these maps, showing their own leadership commitments, we'll not have enough leaders doing the every-day needed work of helping great tutor/mentor programs reach k-12 youth in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago, or other cities.

Recruiting such leaders is a role many need to take.
Recommended reading:
* Virtual Corporate Office - click here
* Role of Leaders - click here
* Connecting with Chicago area Universities - Since 1994 - click here
* Reaching out to universities - click here
Search Google for "tutor mentor" and any of the words on this tag cloud. Click here to see graphic.

Programs Can Compete for Scarce Resources, or Work Together to Expand the Pool of Resources.
What can leaders be doing to look for programs to support?
Research keeps showing that many youth serving organizations are struggling to find the resources needed to build and sustain on-going connections to youth and volunteers. The Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) was created in 1993 with a goal of helping every tutor/mentor and learning organization in the Chicago region get needed resources. I continue that mission through the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, created in 2011.
In countless articles and events I've encouraged others to duplicate what I've been doing, so more voices were being raised to attract the attention of volunteers and donors. Too often leaders have said "I like what you're doing, and I'll help when I get my own house in order."  I always walked away thinking "They will never help, because they can't solve the resource flow problem on their own." 
This is still true today, even though we have more tools available to share our messages and draw attention to each other.

Don't wait. Spend a little time every week trying to help build the infrastructure you with were consistently supporting your own efforts.
Recommended reading from recent blog articles.
* Follow up to #onthetable2016 event - click here
* Follow up to Dr. Robert Putnam talk in Chicago - click here
* Use Maps to support Local/Global collaboration - click here
I've been writing stories like this in the tutor/mentor blog since 2005. However, I started sharing ideas like this in printed newsletters , in 1993.

Create August-September Advertising That Draws Volunteers to All Programs in the Region

A Rising Tide Raises All Boats. 
If dozens of Chicago tutor, mentor and learning programs, and intermediaries take this action, every program benefits.
Encourage businesses, faith groups, colleges, media and others to place advertising during August that motivates volunteers to shop and choose programs to support as school starts in the fall. 
Use these lists to find contact information for non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs in Chicago region.
* Chicago Program list -

* Map showing locations of Chicago Programs - click here

* Facebook pages for Chicago area youth programs - click here 

* Map showing intermediaries supporting Chicago youth serving organization - click here

* Facebook list of intermediaries -click here

* Map pointing to other resources to use in finding volunteer opportunities in Chicago, and other cities - click here
Is anyone else maintaining this type of resource library in Chicago, or in  other cities?  If you're not in Chicago, and  have someone maintaining program lists like I do, you can duplicate the same actions and strategies as I'm sharing with people in Chicago.

If you'd like my help to develop your strategy, I'm available.
Where Am I Getting My Ideas
While I attend events hosted by different groups in Chicago, I spend much of my time on the Internet, looking at web sites of Chicago area tutor and/or mentor organizations, connecting via Twitter and Facebook and Slack, and reading ideas shared by people throughout the World.
Here are a few other places where I've been connecting:
* Collaborative Curiosity: Designing Community Engaged Research. Hosted by VCU. Continues through July 18. - click here
* Connected Learning MOOC. Begins July 10 - click here

* ChiHackNight weekly meetings at Merchandise Mart - click here 
Webinars and online events from past month
Promise Chat - hosted by America's Promise - click here for review 
FutureChicago - hosted by Crain's Chicago Business  - click here to join Facebook Conversation 
Education Disparities webinar summary, hosted by the Brookings Institute - click here 
Upcoming Conferences and Events 
Illinois Conference on Volunteer Administration (ICOVA), August 10, 2016, see details 
View more Chicago events on Thrive Chicago calendar. Add your own. see calendar
Events hosted by Intermediaries in Chicago. To be fully aware of networking and learning events in Chicago, you need to visit web sites of organizations shown on this map to stay informed of other networking events available to youth organizations and supporters in Chicago region. 
Browse the Tutor/Mentor Connection web library. On the web page, click on the line that says "More featured properties" and you'll get a list showing most recently added links. You can also sort the library in different ways, or search for specific topics, by key word. 

Tutor/Mentor Connection, Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC  
Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, Il 60654 |

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