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.

June-July 2017 - Issue 159
One School-Year Ends. Planning for Next School Year is On-Going. 
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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How's Your Planning Going for Coming School Year?  What Do You Share on your Web Site?
Are your volunteers, board members, students and donors involved with your research and planning?
Helping Kids Through School Requires On-Going Planning. read article 

While many youth programs are just wrapping up year-end celebrations to recognize work done by youth, volunteers, staff and supporters since last August, many are deeply involved in planning for the 2017-18 school year, starting with student and volunteer recruitment beginning in August.

This graphic is from a planning cycle pdf on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site. In the same location you can also find one titled "Steps to Start a Program" and another with tips for volunteer recruitment. 

If you did a Google search for the phrase "tutor mentor program planning" then looked at the images you'd see dozens of graphics I've created and included in presentations and blog articles.  What concerns me is that I don't see a mix of planning graphics used by other intermediaries and/or tutor/mentor programs from Chicago or other cities.
A picture is worth a thousand words.   
Here's one of the graphics you'd find if you did that Google search. See how a version of this is included in this Slideshare presentation.   In this case I'm showing quarterly events that intend to draw attention and pull volunteers and donors to tutor/mentor programs throughout Chicago (shown on this list), based on what programs show on their web sites and social media pages. I'm also showing the planning process that needs to be in place to make this happen.

If only a few leaders of non-profit youth serving organizaitons are thinking this way, or if only a few are sharing their program design and strategies on their web sites and through blog articles and Slideshare presentations, it will be more difficult to educate donors and volunteers and teach them to search the web to find places to support with their time, talent and dollars.

Below are a few links to articles that expand on this topic. I encourage you to read these and start a conversation within your organization about how to implement some of these.
* Do the Reading. Do the Planning. click here
* Planning needed to fight war on poverty - click here

* A new plan for Chicago. Some suggestions - click here
* Resources in Tutor/Mentor web library that I point to frequently - click here
If you're writing articles like these and sharing them on a blog, please send your web address to so I can add you to the T/MC web library.

Involve Youth, Volunteers, Interns In Telling Your Story
Your web site, blogs and social media pages are low-cost ways to attract volunteers and donors and to support student learning and skill building.  
Read Urban Youth As Data Scientists and Network Builders - click here

This cartoon is from a blog written by Kevin Hodgson, a middle school teacher in Massachusetts.  I show it here to encourage readers to scroll through past articles on Kevin's blog to see how he uses cartoons and other visualizations to share what he does in his classroom, and what he's learning from other people via online communities.

Learning from others is on-going.

I led a volunteer based tutor/mentor program in Chicago from 1975 to 2011 and many of the ideas I used came from other programs and on-line friends. Kevin is one of many people who I learn from in my on-line networking. Browse this list of blogs to find many others.
I point to nearly 200 Chicago non-school programs in this list on my web site and to more than 150 on this list which I host on Facebook. 

I open each link at least twice a year to make sure the program is still operating and to see how they are communicating program design and strategy. Last week I visited programs on the Central and North side of Chicago and looked at photos and videos posted to Facebook.

Here's a few who I felt did a good job of showing their work and impact:

East Village Youth Program - What is EVYP?
Erie House - Extended Learning Programs
Highsight - series of videos featuring graduates, like this
Horizons 4 Youth - celebrating 2017 seniors
Off the Street Club - The House that Hope Built
Tutoring Chicago - 50 Year Anniversary
I'm sure that as I review Facebook Pages of programs in other parts of Chicago, and in other cities, I'll find more videos that show the good work programs are doing. However, on too many program websites, I don't find blogs used as more than bulletin boards, if there is a blog at all. Nor do I find much current information, photos or videos posted on Facebook pages.

In addition, just a handful of programs are active on Twitter who post information about their programs and re-tweet posts by myself and each other.  
The graphic at the top of this section of the newsletter is from a video created by an intern working with me a few years ago. The graphics below are also from intern work. You can find these at this link.

I've been doing some video creation myself.  Here's one that was created using a platform called Lumen5. click here

Here's another which I recorded using the camera on my phone, to update an animation done a few years ago by another intern. click here
Mine are not professional quality, but these and the ones you'll find on many tutor/mentor program web sites, demonstrate how any program can find ways to tell what is taking place in their programs and why volunteers and donors should help them.
These articles relate to that goal.  Read:
* Digging Deeper into the "here to there" graphic -click here

* Flash Animations by Interns not working - need work-around - click here

As you create new videos and hopefully begin to write blog articles, use your Facebook and Twitter posts to share these with the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and with other programs. We can each learn from each other and can each help draw attention and resources to each other.

How to Make the Funding System Work Better for On-Going Youth Tutor/Mentor Programs
If you're flying a plane you want enough gas to get to your destination, not just  10, 20 or 30%. Why don't donors recognize this?
See the above graphic in this article - click here
Much of what the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) has attempted since forming in 1993 is increase the pool of operating dollars available to volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in all high poverty neighborhoods.
One way to do that was build a library of articles showing challenges non profits face and showing a plea for general operating support, then urge others to read and share these with others.
In 2011 I started following articles about a book titled "Uncharitable", written by Dan Pallotta. I have posted my own commentary in articles on my blog. Here's one
Over the weekend I saw a video with the headline " Documentary Film Reveals Why Charities Are BROKEN FOR GOOD".  I included the video in this blog article and encourage you to read it and share it with your board members and supporters. 
We not only need to grow the pie, we also need to change how funds are allotted. Many more people than myself need to be writing stories similar to my own, with similar goals.  

If you are writing about this or know of other articles that should be included in the Tutor/Mentor web library, just email to share them with me.

Other Resources for Summer Learning
Share these with volunteers, youth and donors and build your own learning network.  
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

* 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 |

Read about a Tutor/Mentor Connection "do-over" - click here

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