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.

March - April 2018 - Issue 168
As This School Year Comes to Close Planning for Next Should Be in Place.
Apply what works. Learn from what did not work. Borrow ideas from others. Annual Process of Program Improvement.
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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It's March. Tutor/Mentor Programs are Focusing on Year-End Activities & Summer Programs.
It's also time to be thinking of the start of the next school year

I started leading a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program in Chicago in 1975. Every year about this time I was beginning to recruit volunteers and start thinking of what the program would look like as we started the next school year in August and September.
I used the graphic above to emphasize that if you plan ahead and repeat what works from year-to-year, and get others involved,  you can grow the resources needed to support your own youth program, as well as others reaching k-12 youth in other parts of your community. 
This is a cycle that repeats for everyone. It's one that I've focused on in eMail newsletters every year. Take a look:
March 2017 - click here
March 2016 - click here
March 2015 - click here

Look at print newsletter archives and see how these ideas were shared in the 1990s. 
If You Agree That Connecting Young People with Extra Adults and Learning Opportunities is a good idea....
Then making organized programs available to youth in high poverty areas where such opportunities are needed should be a strategy you focus on.  
We all want the same positive outcomes for kids. However, making more non-school learning and mentoring programs available in every high poverty area of the Chicago region and other cities requires work shown at the bottom of this pyramid. 

We want the same results but are we drawing from an extensive knowledge base and involving students, volunteers, parents and donors in the learning that leads to innovation and strategies that help programs sustain on-going efforts and improve from year-to-year?
View this article to learn more about this results pyramid.
Think about how programs are funded. Grant competitions: too few winners. click here
Want to get started? Read "Steps to Start and Sustain a Tutor/Mentor Program". click here

What Does a Non-School Tutor/Mentor Program Look Like? How Do You Show Program Design?
Non-school, volunteer-based programs have many different designs, which makes it difficult for a clear message that educates donors to support programs in every high poverty neighborhood.
See this graphic in blog article at this link
I worked for the Montgomery Ward corporation from 1973-1990 and we had 400 stores located in 40 states. Each store had more than 60 different merchandise categories, each with a wide selection of items, appealing to many different consumers.
I think of non-school programs as a form of "retail store for hope and opportunity" with many forms of learning and mentoring intended to attract youth and adult participants. Many people keep asking me, "What kinds of tutoring or mentoring do you do?"  I keep trying to explain, we're trying to create a support system that expands the range of career opportunities kids might aspire to, and provides the support each youth needs over many years to pursue those opportunities. See article.
I created this graphic in the 1990s to visualize a program design that involved volunteers from different business background, offers a safe place to meet during non-school hours, and supports youth for multiple years.  I called this Total Quality Mentoring (TQM), implying that it's more than just "tutoring" or "mentoring". 


The graphic at the top of this section shows a wide range of mentoring and learning opportunities. So does this TQM graphic.  I created this PDF presentation to further explain this idea. 
I point to web sites of more than 200 Chicago non-school programs in this section of the Tutor/Mentor Connection web site. In other sections of the library I point to youth programs in other cities, or who don't have a volunteer tutor/mentor strategy. I encourage volunteers, board members and staff to spend time looking at what other programs are doing, with the goal of borrowing ideas that might work in your own programs.
Unfortunately, very few youth programs actually use visualizations to show program design, or include a set of links pointing to other organizations who they feel are ideal models to duplicate. Volunteers could help programs do this more often. 
These articles are part of a knowledge base that is available to anyone working to help youth. Read:
* Creating opportunity for urban youth: Resources - click here
* Helping urban youth move through school. What do we need to know? - click here

* Spreading ideas in more places - click here
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 

How do challenges of the local tutor/mentor program ecosystem relate to United Nations Sustainable Global Development Goals?
We face same challenges of bringing people together, raising money, recruiting volunteers, etc.  
In a recent blog article I included the image shown above. It was taken from this page, which describes challenges of meeting the 2030 goals set by the United Nations. 
Involve your network. Grow your Network.
I created this graphic in the 1990s to illustrate the role volunteers, donors, friends, students, etc. could take on a regular basis to draw people they know to web libraries and information about youth serving programs in Chicago or other cities.

We're all in same boat.
Few youth organizations have marketing and public relations staffs, thus struggle to tell their story, gain attention and attract consistent 
financial support.
The image at the right was created by an intern working with the Tutor/Mentor Institute,    LLC in Chicago. It is communicating the same idea as the image I created in the 1990s.
This video  was also created by an Intern. It shows work other Interns did in previous years to help communicate Tutor/Mentor Connection ideas.

What's the point?   Youth in area middle schools, high schools, colleges, faith groups and non-school programs could be creating stories and presentations that focus attention on their own section of the city, or their own youth organization. They could be doing this as  part of their own service and learning, and as part of an on-going strategy intended to bring more people together to help build and sustain needed non-school programs in different places.  
You can view more work by interns who've worked with me in the past. Click here
Other resources to look at 
* Non Profit/NGO uses of social media - click here
* Local/Global problem solving - click here
* Bringing youth tutor/mentor and workforce development ecosystems together on the Internet - click here
* Dig Deeper into Tutor/Mentor Connection articles and ideas - click here

When you look at my blog articles, think of how I have written similar stories every wee for more than 10 years. If many others do the same we might be able to capture more public and donor attention to support the work non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs do.
I used this 4-Part Strategy to build two successful tutor/mentor programs in Chicago. Anyone can use it.
This is an information based problem solving strategy.  It starts with collecting information about the problem you are interested in solving, including information about others who are also trying to solve the same problem.  

View this blog article to understand the 4-part strategy. How are you applying the strategy in your own organization or network?

Additional resources to help Chicago area organizations and supporters connect, learn and work collectively to help build support systems for youth:
* Writing our Civic Futures: on-line conversations about civic engagement and learning. click here
* Strengthening Chicago Youth  blog - click here
* ILGiveBig Spring Giving Day - May 3, 2018. Details

* 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
* 2018 #OnTheTable, May 8, 2018 - 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.
Who Should be Reading this Newsletter?
Think of "It takes a village to raise a child" message. 
The graphic above says "almost anyone can help" and lists different categories of people in a neighborhood or city who could be reading this newsletter and helping tutor/mentor programs grow in one or many places.

I created this concept map (and a second that is linked to it) to visualize the range of talent, skills and organizations you might need involved. If you're using something like this as a worksheet, to help you in your network building, please share what you do via a blog, your web site and social media.
I'm sure there are many people in the support network of every youth tutor/mentor programs and school in Chicago who could be using the ideas shared in this monthly newsletter. Forward this to them and ask them to subscribe.
Here's the link to subscribe to this FREE eNews resource
Tutor/Mentor Connection, Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
 Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, Il 60654 |

What am I doing and Why Do I Keep Trying - click here
What can you do to help? - click here

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Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303,  Chicago, IL 606