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.

September-October 2016 - Issue 151
Recruiting Students and Volunteers is Just the Beginning. How Do You Support Them?
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)
Supporting Volunteers and Youth Is an On-Going Effort
Create a Learning Organization. Point volunteers and youth to resources in Tutor/Mentor Library.
By now much of the volunteer recruitment, screening, orientations and matching for the 2016-17 school year is coming to a close and weekly tutor/mentor sessions are beginning.

While your volunteer has basic information, each week he/she will have one on-going question.

What do I do with my student today?
The answer is different for each student and volunteer pair, and it changes every week based on what's happening in the life of the student and the volunteer.
In the programs I led between 1975 and 2011, we provided a calendar of events and activities, around which volunteers could individualize weekly sessions.  For instance we encouraged a "get to know" you writing activity to start each week, with questions like "What has happened since last week? Something good? Something not so good? And, What's happening in school?"
We also provided an activity they could do together, such as research and write a poem, or story for the upcoming Halloween weekend. Or respond to a guest speaker.
We also pointed volunteers to a few sections of our library, with the goal that volunteers would spend their own time looking for activities and learning from others, while also sharing what works with peers.  We started putting this library on the Internet in 1998 and it has grown since then. Here's a blog article I wrote in January 2016 showing all of the sections of the web library. The links below are included in that article. 
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.
Or, join one of the groups I host and post your ideas directly.

Facebook -
LinkedIn group focused on volunteering -  click here
Twitter - @tutormentorteam
Tutor/Mentor Connection on Ning - click here

Recommended reading:
* Navigating the Information Highway - click here
* Building a Knowledge Base to Support Youth Development - click here
* Want to make a difference? Spend time in deeper learning - click here
As you read some of my articles, consider how you could share your own expertise, using your own blog.   

"I fear for the safety of my kids every day"
That's a message I'm seeing over and over again on Facebook, voiced by tutor/mentor program alumni who are now raising their own kids.

It's hard not to open the paper, the Internet or TV news and find a story of a Black or Latino man or woman killed by police or by another person of color in one of America's high poverty urban neighborhoods.
I'm connected to many former Cabrini-Green area students on Facebook. Over the past couple of years I've read more and more stories from parents that paint this picture of fear for the lives of their kids.
I am a 69 year old White man who grew up in small Midwest towns. I would not be writing this newsletter, or caring about this problem, if I had not become a volunteer tutor/mentor in 1973, a leader in 1974, and stayed in that role for the past 40 years.
Thus, I focus on how cities can make that path available for more people like me, so more people are connected to former students and volunteers, and to research and articles that dig deep into these problems, and devote significant amounts of time, talent and dollars to innovate solutions.  
One of those solutions would be to make more mentor-rich programs available to youth in more places. The rest of this newsletter shows some ideas that would lead to that result, if more people will adopt them, share them and lead them.
Recommended reading:
* Cost of segregation in Chicago - click here 
* Building mentor-rich programs in high poverty neighborhoods - click here
* Enough is Enough. Stop the Violence - click here
In the Tutor/Mentor web library I point to hundreds of other web sites with research and articles that lead to a deeper understanding of this problem. 
Who is Helping Non-School Tutor, Mentor and Learning Programs Thrive in More Places? 
K-12 youth in every high poverty neighborhood would benefit if well-organized programs were available to them.
While this year's tutor/mentor programs are just getting started, it's not too late to think about how they find the funding and other resources needed to sustain them, or how to build new programs in areas where none now exist.
This map shows locations of non-school youth serving programs in the Chicago region. (click here).

Since 1994 I've been collecting information about non-school tutor/mentor programs in the Chicago region, and sharing it in on-going efforts intended to help attract needed resources to existing programs, and help new programs grow where too few exist.

Visit this web site
to see my list.  I organize the list by sections of the city and suburbs to make it easier for parents, volunteers, donors, etc. to find programs near where they live or work.  Many of the web sites are full of information. Some don't have as much.

I've been piloting uses of maps since 1994 to show this information, because a map makes it easier to see what areas are well served, and which are under-served.  The map shown above is not the ideal, because it does not provide layers of information, showing type of program and age group served like the Interactive Tutor/Mentor Program Locator does (see here).

Unfortunately, I've not found partners, or investors, to help upgrade this since 2010. Thus, it's a model of what cities like Chicago need, but the information is not as up-to-date as it needs to be.

Share the responsibility for making these programs available.
I feel that maps should be used by leaders in business, philanthropy, politics, and other sectors, to assure that youth in every high poverty neighborhood have the schools and non-school support system each needs to move successfully, and safely, through school and into adult lives.

My vision has been that a program's web site should serve as it's grant proposal,
and that donors and volunteers should be educated to seek out programs in different parts of the city and suburbs, in response to negative news or other reminders.  I created this SHOPPER GUIDE PDF to show a list of things that I feel should be included on a web site, to fully inform site visitors.  Very few organizations actually include most of this information on their web sites.
One way to build this leadership is to recruit volunteers from multiple business, education and faith backgrounds, and to support them as they do their weekly tutoring/mentoring service, and as they return to their workplace, faith group, family and friends. 


There are two animations/videos that illustrate this idea.  See
* service learning loop -click here
* volunteer-support cycle - click here

Recommended Reading:
* Building the Public Will: Changing the Future - click here
* Making Opportunities Available in Every Poverty Neighborhood - click here
* Role of Libraries, Hospitals and anchor organizations - click here
* Uses of Maps to build business involvement - click here
* Building personal learning habits - 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.  
You might be interested in....
Strategies that could be duplicated to support out-of-school-time programs

* To&Through Project, aims to help more Chicago Public School students move to college, and graduate, using extensive data resources - view website

* Connected Learning cMOOCs - look at ways educators from around the country (and beyond) are connecting and sharing ideas in on-line events. This link points to a set of web sites on this topic. click here

* Digital Promise Research Map - One of the resources on this site is a huge library of research and ideas that anyone can use to build better programs to help young people. The site uses innovative visualizations to help people navigate the information on the site.  click here

Many other organizations take on an intermediary role, helping multiple youth serving organizations do good work.

Here's a Concept Map showing intermediaries supporting Chicago youth serving organization.  - click here

Here's a page on Facebook that points to the pages of many of the same organizations. click here
On some of these pages you'll find the information shown below

* Oct 8 - New Readers for New Life Conference, hosted by Literacy Volunteers of Illinois. At UIC, Center for Literacy, 1040 W. Harrison, Chicago, Il. See details. click here.
* Oct. 20. Third Annual Afterschool Growth Conference. To be held at East-West University, 829 S. Wabash Ave. See details and registration info. click here 
* ILGIVE2016 - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 - click here
* Strengthening Chicago Youth - training and events calendar - click here
* Thrive Chicago events calendar - click here
* Chicago and National conferences that repeat annually - 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 |

It only takes a small group of dedicated people to change the world. Thank you to the few people who keep sending contributions to help me  keep this resource available to you and others. 
Click here
if you want to help.

Copyright 20XX. All Rights Reserved.

Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303,  Chicago, IL 60654