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.

Sept. - October 2017 - Issue 162
In June 2018 how many volunteers who join tutor and mentor programs today will still be with these 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 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.
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) 
Now that you've recruited volunteers, how will you support them?
Thousands of volunteers are now meeting with students and looking for ideas to answer the "what do I do?" question. 
Transforming adults involved in volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs - read article
In the 1970s when I first started leading a tutor/mentor program in Chicago I held full-time retail advertising jobs with the Montgomery Ward corporation. I did not have a lot of time to lead a program that already had 100 pairs of elementary school age kids and workplace volunteers in 1975 and grew to 300 by 1990. Thus, I began to focus on ways other volunteers could take growing roles to help lead the program. 

In the above link I point to an article I wrote in 2009.  I recently updated the article, and used Thinglink to point out different elements. I hope you'll take a look (click here), and incorporate these ideas into your own volunteer support strategies. 

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.
* Mentor Role in a Larger Youth Development Strategy - click here
* Virtual Corporate Office - click here

* Recruiting Talent Volunteers - 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.

Resources Volunteers and Students can Use
There is a wealth of information on the Internet that students and volunteers can draw from.  Many links are included in sections of the Tutor/Mentor library.  
See blog article and video showing homework help section of the web library. click here.

See three other articles with links to different sections of web library - click here and scroll through three articles.
While I led a tutor/mentor program I told volunteers that they could organize a weekly meeting with youth around four questions. 

1) What's a good thing that has happened since we last met? Both youth and volunteers share. This starts session on positive note. Sharing helps build a relationship and trust.

2) What's happened, that's bad or painful, since we last met? Volunteers have troubles, too. But the things that trouble youth can be much more stressful, caused by poverty and violence in their neighborhoods.   You could spend the rest of the session, or the tutoring year, talking about these issues. Until a student learns to cope with the negative things going on, he/she may not be prepared to do well in school.

3) This is the tutoring question.  What's going on in school that I can help you with? Any upcoming tests or papers? Any homework? If you have access to grades this can lead to discussions of how academic success affects career aspirations. It can lead to areas of focus.

4)  If these three questions don't fill your time, the fourth is, "What's going on in the world that we might investigate?"  The graphic at the left combiners the United Nation's Global Sustainability Goals with a Race-Poverty map created by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC. Follow the links and you'll find opportunities for on-going conversations, research and service/learning projects. 
See this graphic in this blog article.
Disasters, inequality, poverty in US and around the world offer on-going opportunities for student learning and engagement.  Read:
Apply Service Learning LOOP to Disaster Recovery - click here

* Disaster Relief. Floods. Kids. - click here

* See how maps are used in understanding distribution of problems - click here

*  Researching and understanding the climate crisis - click here
Encourage your students and volunteers to research local/global issues and create blogs and visualizations where they show their understanding of the problem and call attention to potential solutions.  See visualizations done by interns working with Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC between 2006 and 2015.

Think of Youth Programs as "Teams"
With football season started and the World Series coming, think of all the things that make great teams and apply that thinking to helping great youth development, tutor and mentor teams grow in more places. 
See graphic in this Tutor/Mentor blog article: click here


Then look at the news stories shown in this article

Helping kids living in high poverty areas move through school and into adult lives takes 20-30 years for each youth. Great programs that do this are needed in hundreds of places in the Chicago region and thousands throughout the USA, Canada and elsewhere.

Helping people rebuild their homes and lives after hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, drought, wildfire and war, will take even longer.  Support systems need to be in every place where these disasters are happening.
In an article on the MappingforJustice blog I included the map at the right, showing natural disasters taking place throughout the world in 2014.  Similar maps could be created for any year. 
The people leading each different youth program are constantly challenged to find the talent, dollars, volunteers and ideas needed to become great, then stay great for many years.  The strategies Tutor/Mentor Connection began developing in 1993 were aimed at influencing what resource providers and volunteers do to help programs grow, not just at what non-profit leaders do with the resources they are able to find.


I recently digitized a 22x26" Thank You Dan card given to me in 1990 by students and volunteers of the tutoring program I had been leading since 1975.   I posted it in this blog article under a headline of " Go forth and multiply". 

Most of the articles I've shared in this newsletter focus on innovating long-term solutions to complex problems that have been with us for many years.  I don't have solutions or "silver bullets" but do point to promising practices in my articles and in sections of the Tutor/Mentor web library.
In the article I referred to above I included this graphic, comparing an idea launched with a newsletter, blog article, Tweet and/or Facebook post to launching a fireworks display, in which one blast leads to a series of additional blasts. 

Students and volunteers in schools and non-school programs throughout Chicago and the world could be launching their own ideas, and could be connecting with each other on a variety of internet platforms to share and learn and look for solutions that they can bring to reality in their lifetimes, even if I and the adults of this time don't do that very well.  


Doing this on a regular basis can build the attention needed to keep support flowing to tutor/mentor programs and disaster areas.  It can also point people to information libraries, and places where they can connect with each other on line, and face-to-face.  

It's in these connection points that relationships and trust grow and ideas are shared. If resource providers, media, policy-makers and business leaders join in these spaces perhaps they will begin to contribute to solutions without requesting grant proposals or sending out RFPs and forcing a competition for scarce resource.
Such spaces may not yet exist. They need to be created.

Let's connect. I can mentor you in this process.

Additional information...
Additional blog articles I've posted since the last newsletter

* Influencing Actions That Lead to More Help for Youth in Poverty - click here

* Navigating Information in the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Library - click here

* Blacks & Hispanics Still Underrepresented at US Universities - click here
* Recently added links in Tutor/Mentor library. Click here, then look at list on right side of the page.
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

* National Mentoring Summit - January 24=26, 2018 in Washington, DC - details

* Indiana Afterschool Network Out-of-School-Time Conference, April 9, 2018 - details
* Chicago Organizations in Intermediary Roles - click here
*  View past Tutor/Mentor Newsletters - use for on-going learning - 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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