Edition: February 2013
Issue No. 116
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* Save the date. Next Tutor/Mentor Conference June 7
* Help Build Participation in Conferences and information sharing
* Organize a learning circle in your company, school, faith group
* Integrate mapping and visualization in your communications
* President's Message - Build year-round strategy
issue 01
Save the Date. Next Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference in Chicago will be on Friday, June 7, 2013 at the Metcalfe Federal Building.

The Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) was created in 1993, so we're now entering our 20th year. The first conference was hosted in May 1994. Following conferences have been held every six months since then. This has been a grassroots affair made possible by all speakers volunteering time to share ideas. 


"Who attends?" has been a constant question. In 2007 an on-line attendee list was created to provide this information. In 2010 we began to produce social network analysis maps.  This winter we've found a way to create maps showing participants from past conferences. This one shows November 1998 when over 200 people attended.




This map shows organizations in Chicago who participated in a conference held more than 15 years ago. Similar maps can be seen on this page. More will be created in the future.  While these show "who attends" a better question would be "who should be attending?"  or "Why are they not attending?"


There are more than 200 youth organization web sites in the Chicago program links section of the Tutor/Mentor Links Library - http://tinyurl.com/TMI-ChiProgramLinks


Many other youth serving organizations are represented in other sections of the library, such as this one - http://tinyurl.com/TMI-Library-Mentoring

All youth serving organizations have an on-going need for the same resources. The conferences are intended to draw people together to share ideas on how to get these resources directly to programs at the lowest possible cost and with the greatest flexibility in how funds are used.


See photos from the November 2012 conference and from past conferences


Go to the Tutor/Mentor Institute Facebook page and post information pointing to organizations who you feel do a great job sharing information that youth and volunteers can use in weekly tutoring/mentoring.

Help Build Participation and Idea Sharing in June and November 2013 Conf.

Propose a workshop. Visit this page to fill out a workshop presenter form: http://www.tutormentorconference.org/present.asp

Image created by Tutor/Mentor Tutor/Mentor Connection

Read goals of conference.   Become a sponsor or an advertiser.  Participation in 2008-2010 conference has been much lower than in conferences held between 1997 and 2002 due to lack of funding and growing competition from others who are working in their own silos and networks. 

This map shows organizations concerned with education, high school drop out crisis, workforce development, youth violence, etc. See the live map here.

Click on the nodes to go to web sites, or to find additional maps with more organizations. When a Tutor/Mentor conference is offered, all of these organizations are invited to participate. When they organize events we hope we're on the invitation list and we can afford to attend!

When you look at the conference participation maps look to see how many of these other organizations are attending and encourage them to participate if you don't see them on the maps or attendee list.  When  you go to other conferences, ask to see maps like this on their own web site to show that we're all trying to build a greater collective effort to help youth in the Chicago region move more safely and successfully through school and into productive adult lives.

Not everyone can attend every conference, but everyone who has a concern for the well-being of youth in Chicago should make an effort to attend some of the conferences. This includes business, media, philanthropy and political leaders, not just tutor/mentor program leaders.

issue 02  
Organize a Learning Circle in  your organization, company, faith group  

Image created by Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC


There is plenty of information showing the impact of poverty on learning and public health. Thus, why is it so difficult to generate the operating resources it takes to make mentor-rich non school programs available in more places and keep them in place for multiple years?

While conferences can draw large groups together, small groups need to be forming in hundreds of locations, just like school classrooms or weekly faith group gatherings, or local book clubs.


Such groups can draw from the articles in the Research Section of Tutor/Mentor Connection Library - http://tinyurl.com/TMI-ResearchLinks

Or, visit the one of these web sites

* American Graduate WTTW
* Education Nation - http://www.educationnation.com/
* America's Promise - 

Or use the ideas in the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Library for discussion.


This graphic shows sections of the Tutor/Mentor Connection library. Information includes research showing "why" and "where" tutor/mentor programs are most needed. Information also provides information that can be used to build and sustain strong programs. 


So how do we increase the number of people who look at this information every day? How do we support adult learning so people who read the information we're sharing act in one of many ways to assure that high quality K-12 mentoring and learning programs are available in more of the places where they are needed? This is a conversation that should be taking place in many sectors and in many places on the internet.

When I post articles about network building on http://tutormentor.blogspot.com my purpose is to engage more people in actions that draw greater daily attention to organizations working with youth in high poverty neighborhoods.  Most of us have little or no money for advertising so we need to learn other ways to draw attention to the information we share.


Look at the ideas about MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and see how any of those who are involved in tutoring/mentoring in Chicago or other cities could be constantly learning and sharing with hundreds of others people throughout the city, state and nation.



issue 03  
Mapping and Visualization - Essential Resources for Social Change  

Image created by Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC

If you view the archive of past Tutor/Mentor Connection newsletters you'll see three themes in them.

a) shared knowledge - links to research and ideas created by experts throughout the world. Instead of trying to create new research we aim to amply the work already done so more people are using it to support their own actions.

b) mapping - we've piloted uses of maps to show where poverty is concentrated and where youth development, jobs creation and prevention programs are needed in Chicago. Without integrating maps into planning and evaluation,  resources can flow to many high profile organizations and still not reach most of the young people needing such help.




c) visualizations - when people say a picture is worth a thousand words, we agree.  Since the mid 1990s visualizations have been created to help communicate Tutor/Mentor Connection ideas and strategies. This graphic is one I've used often to illustrate a need for continuous funding to support youth as the move from first grade to first job and adult responsibilities.  Few youth serving organizations, business leaders or politicians use graphics like this to show their commitment and strategies for helping kids in their communities.  Using sites like http://pinterest.com/tutormentor/ we are sharing these images in more places.

Every one of the articles and presentations that I've created can be done better by people with more talent and time than I have. Furthermore, every presentation can be modified to point to other cities than Chicago.  I encourage you to do this. Just include a link to the http://www.tutormentorexchange.net site and recognition of where the idea originated.

Image created by Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC



president's message
Build a Year-Round Communications and Learning Strategy

by Daniel F. Bassill

Chicago and national media are now in a high state of activity, calling on more efforts to end the senseless violence taking lives of inner city young people. Some writers are now using photos of kids in high profile killings, going back to the mid 1980s, when Ben Wilson was gunned down on a Chicago street.  I've had this front page of the October 15, 1992 Chicago SunTimes in my office since then, as a constant reminder that we need to focus daily attention on this problem, not just occasional peaks of indignation.

We have many ways to know where tutor/mentor programs are needed, and to find contact information for existing programs. The Tutor/Mentor Program Locator is just one resource available to you. It uses maps to show where existing programs are located in the city and what neighborhoods are underserved.

This information can be used by any type of group in on-going communications strategies intended to mobilize volunteers, donors, talent and other resources needed at every program on an on-going basis. The above graphic illustrates how high profile leaders can support this strategy if they talk about what the needs of programs are at different times each year. Using this communities can plan August-September volunteer-mobilization campaigns as school starts and November-December recognition and fund raising events as we near the year-end holidays. Repeating these actions every year, and borrowing new ideas from others, enable the impact of your events to grow, generating growing resources to support tutoring/mentoring programs in any community.

                                                                                                                                                                         Image created by Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
See articles related to this topic:

Collaboration goals - http://tinyurl.com/TMC-Collaboration-Scribd-com

Role of leaders - http://tinyurl.com/TMI-RoleOfLeaders  

Community Information Collection - http://tinyurl.com/TMI-Information-Collection

Tipping points - http://tinyurl.com/TMI-TippingPoint

I've built a library with research articles and blogs where writers show the cost of poverty, the skills gaps, the drop out crisis, etc. Instead of creating this research myself my goal has been to re-circulate articles written by people with far more skills and research talent than myself.   Motivating more people to read these articles and become personally involved in providing resources to support solutions has been my goal. You can find this library at  http://tinyurl.com/TMC-Library

I've created dozens of illustrated essays to share my own ideas. http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/library


Recently I added a page on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site about network building and social capital. I think that until more of us are spending time every day trying to increase the number of people who are connected to each other and looking at this information, we won't have the numbers we need to change how social benefit organizations are supported. You can find this page at http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/sna

Are you already having this conversation? Where? If you post in spaces I host you can attract the people in my network to your space. I can do the same.  Share  your ideas with me on Twitter @tutormentorteam or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TutorMentorInstitute


Thank you! You read to the bottom of the page.  If you do this every month you are truly dedicated.  I'd like to hear from you. Email me at tutormentor2@earthlink.net or join one of the forums I've pointed to. 

Good luck to everyone as they launch a new school year of tutoring and mentoring. 


The Tutor/Mentor Connection (1993-2011)  is now operated by Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC. http://www.tutormentorexchange.net

Thank you for reading this newsletter and sharing it with others.  You can add new people to our newsletter list using this link. http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com/d.jsp?llr=nlofiegab&p=oi&m=1106096863597

* Support the Tutor/Mentor Institute - This describes the information platform we're trying to build and ways you can be a sponsor, partner and/or benefactor -   http://www.tutormentorconference.org/platform_tmi.htm

* Other ways to help the Tutor/Mentor Institute:


Daniel F. Bassill, D.H.L

Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
and Tutor/Mentor Connection

Read the blogs at :

Connect in these locations:
on Twitter - http://twitter.com/tutormentorteam

* Linked in group on volunteering - http://tinyurl.com/TMC-LinkedIn-Volunteering
* Tutor/Mentor Institute on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/TutorMentorInstitute
* Tutor/Mentor Connection forum at http://tutormentorconnection.ning.com
* On Slide Share - http://www.slideshare.net/tutormentor
* On Scribd.com - http://www.scribd.com/daniel-f-bassill-7291
* On Pinterest - http://pinterest.com/tutormentor/

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