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.

November-December 2016 - Issue 153
Happy Holidays! May Year-End Gifts and Gatherings Bring You Joy and Hope As You Move into the New Year.
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.
If the newsletter does not format correctly in your email, or if you want to return to it for future reading or to share with others, use this link.
Encourage friends, family, co-workers to sign up to receive this newsletter. Click here
(If you subscribe, don't forget to respond to the confirmation email)
Are you ready for November 29th #ILGive day? What about after that? 
During the final six weeks of the year donors are looking for places to send contributions. Are you ready?

You can find this graphic in this Tutor/Mentor blog article.

To kick off the holiday giving season non profits from throughout Illinois will be raising money on a single day, November 29.  You can find details here.
Since I support volunteer-based tutoring, mentoring and learning programs I did a search to see what organizations are listed. Here are the links I used in my search:
For education category - click here
For youth category - click here
These are alphabetical listings and there are many other categories that you can search.
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 support to programs in every high poverty neighborhood.
This is my most updated map, created in January 2016. It shows locations of non-school youth serving programs in the Chicago region. ( click here ).
This is the list of Chicago area non-school tutor, mentor programs that I used to build the map. The list is organized by sections of the city and suburbs.

You can also use the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator to search for programs by zip code. This is not as updated as the above map, but attempts to provide greater levels of understanding about who programs serve and what they do.
Giving Tuesday is just the beginning of the year-end giving season. 
As we move through December every non profit will be sending out appeals, by mail and by email and social media.  Donations will grow throughout the month, and many will be influenced by income tax reasons, not just altruism.
In many of my blog articles I encourage youth serving organizations to show more information on their web sites, to help educate donors and volunteers on why tutor/mentor programs are needed in all high poverty areas, what a program might look like, and ways volunteers and donors can help programs grow.

This Shoppers Guide presentation is an example. 
If you know of great resources that you'd like to share and have me add to the web library, just email the link to me using the email shown below.

In August 2016 I used this graphic in this article .  My goal was to show that many people can help draw volunteers to different tutor/mentor programs in their city. As we move through December, I encourage readers, friends, media and other leaders to duplicate this.  

Find a way on a weekly basis, not just in December, to use your communications tools to draw volunteers and donors to the web sites of different youth serving organizations in the Chicago region.  If you're in another city, do the same, pointing to programs in your own city or state.
This is a low cost way to help create hope and opportunity for youth living in high poverty areas of Chicago and other parts of the US and the world.
Connect with others. Share ideas, build support, overcome challenges. 
Help high quality, mentor-rich non-school programs reach k-16 youth in all places where they are needed.
You can find this graphic in this Tutor/Mentor blog article where I refer to a book written by Dr. Robert Putnam, titled, "Our Kids: American Dream in Crisis". 

This is a graphic that I created in the mid 1990s.  At the far right is a map of Chicago, with high poverty areas highlighted.
To the left of the map is a circle, representing a youth as he/she move from first grade through 12th grade.  It also represents the organizations providing on-going support.
This also represents the web library I've been building since 1994.
To the left of that are images representing people who spend time drawing information from the web library, then who invite their friends and co-workers to join in learning circles, to innovate ways to support k-12 learning programs in different high poverty neighborhoods.
Students can do this. Since 2005 college interns from local universities and South Korea, China and India have spent time looking at the maps and graphics I've created, then have created new versions of these.  The graphic at the right is an interpretation of the graphic above.
You can see a library of work done by interns at this page. As we go through the holiday season and the coming year, we should be looking for volunteers who will use their talent to help tutor/mentor programs grow, and to help each program better describe what they do, using their web site as an on-going request for support. 


While I use maps as online program locator directories, I also host two lists on Facebook, pointing to Chicago area programs and intermediaries. While I encourage programs to post photo stories on a regular basis, I also encourage volunteers and donors to browse these lists regularly, to build a relationship and a deeper understanding of program goals and challenges.
Recommended Reading:
* Birth to work blueprints needed - click here

* Understanding and applying social capital concepts - click here
* Refraining the story about Black male achievement - 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.  
War on Poverty Enters New Stage: War on Freedom and Democracy
The election is over and nearly 30% of America is celebrating and another 30% are in denial. More than 40% did not vote*.

See this graphic in this Tutor/Mentor blog article.
I wrote that article on November 10. I wrote another, titled "Stay Focused. Do What You Can Every Day" on November 15.

* see voter turnout info here
I created this graphic several years ago (see it here) to illustrate the constant experimentation that went into creating a light bulb, then the work needed to distribute electricity throughout the world.  We're doing the same experimenting in trying to raise kids, and to help economically disadvantaged kids overcome obstacles caused by poverty.  

The November election has given us a radically different President and many of us have deep fears for what this will do to our democracy, and to the youth and families who are served by most of our tutoring/mentoring programs.
Many have been writing articles about what to expect, how to organize, and what to do next.  I hope someone will aggregate those onto web sites, organized like this Reclaim the American Dream site.   I've created a sub section in the Tutor/Mentor library where I'll point to such platforms. 
However, recently I read an article about "imagining the future", that I want to share. One thing that tutor/mentor programs, and schools can be doing, and many have been doing for many years, is to give youth opportunities to develop their imaginations and explore new ideas. 

Not only do we need to make such opportunities available to young people, we need to draw adults from many backgrounds into such communities.  I created the graphic above (see article) to show that we need to connect people from both sides of the political spectrum, and make mentor-rich programs available in all high poverty neighborhoods of cities, as well as in rural areas and reservations.
I've used this "village" map often to show the range of people who need to be involved in helping kids move from birth to work.  In my blog articles, such as this one,  I point to on-line forums where people connect to each other and share ideas, build relationships and give support.
Such coming together is critically important in the coming months and years.
In addition, I created this section of my web library with ideas people can use to innovate solutions to problems and bring people together to look at those ideas. 
I don't have a magic solution to any of the problems we face.  I just know that if we learn from others who are trying to solve the same problem we might imagine new solutions we've never considered in the past.
Here are some other resources to look at over the holidays.
* Chicago STEM Pathways survey - Help create a deeper understanding of STEM based  youth programming in Chicago - If you host such a program, please complete this survey 
* Creating media-rich map stories - see article
*  Chicago Schools reduce number of librarians - see article
*  Report on Illinois Poverty - Racism's Toll - new report from Social Impact Research Center - click here
* Understanding rural poverty - blog article
* Strengthening Chicago Youth - training and events calendar - click here
* Thrive Chicago events calendar - click here
* Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC 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 |

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