As You End School Year, Build Momentum for 2015-16

June 2015 - Issue #142          Linking ideas, programs and people to help Chicago's kids since 1993
In This Issue
New Book, "Our Kids"
 Tutor/Mentor Conference
Year Round Strategy
Quick Links

Use Tutor/Mentor Connection
on-line library. 



While you can use
a search engine like Google and find information to help
you build and sustain
a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program,
you can also use the T/MC library.


View videos to
help you navigate library
click here

The library has
aggregated and categorized more
than 2000 links to information leaders, volunteers and donors
can use to build a collective
understanding of
where and why tutor/mentor programs
are needed, as well
as ways to support them more
consistently for a
longer period of years.   

Many of these links focus on Chicago.
If you're collecting
similar information, focused on a
different city, please
share the link to your library and I'll add it. 
If you'd like to submit
a link to the library
just register, log in,
and use the "Add a
New Link" feature to suggest a link. These
are moderated and if approved, your link
will be added to the

Categories in

Link to

Research (education,
drop out, social capital, health disparities, etc.)

Innovation & Process Improvement

Fund Raising and Philanthropy

and resources
Blogs by leading
, consultants, tutor/mentor
programs, etc.

Programs &
in other

Volunteer Training. Conferences
Social Enterprise
organizations &
Law, Poverty,
Prevention, Housing

Technology and
"cool tech tools"  



There are many additional

in the library.
some time browsing
the sections and bookmark those
you'd like to visit again.




Helping youth on Journey from Birth to Work requires new thinking. Read more. 



See ideas on building network to support youth. Click here


Illustrated PDF strategy essays in Tutor/Mentor library.
Click here


Visualizations of strategy in Tutor/
Mentor Pinterest


Mapping for Justice blog, with examples
of how GIS maps
can be used.  Click here.


Concept maps 

Visit this page



of Ideas & Strategy
Visit this page


The ideas shared in this monthly newsletter can be used by resource providers, political leaders, non profit leaders, volunteers and youth to help mentor-rich programs thrive in all of the neighborhoods where they are most needed. 

If the newsletter does not format correctly in your email, or if you want to see this newsletter graphics and maps click this link:


Share this with others who want to help youth in your city. 

Congratulations to Students, Volunteers and Tutor/Mentor Programs for Another Year of Learning, Mentoring.


The photo at the right shows me (Dan Bassill) at a year-end graduation celebration, held in 1976 or 1977 at the Montgomery Ward headquarters in Chicago. This was where a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program was started by employee volunteers in 1965. I became it's volunteer leader in 1975 and continued in that role thru June 1992, then formed Cabrini Connections which I led through June 2011. We held a year-end celebration like this every year.  This video was created in 1990 to celebrate this achievement. 

In many locations throughout the Chicago region youth serving organizations have been holding similar year-end celebrations. I've been following some on my Facebook feed and I encourage teams in business, faith groups, universities, etc. who are concerned with poverty, violence and inequality to do the same..  

I've created two lists showing links to Chicago area youth-serving programs that include volunteer-based tutoring, mentoring in their strategies.

List of web sites - click here
List of Facebook pages/groups - click here  

If you're a provider, make sure your 
organization is on one of these lists. If you're a supporter, or media, use these lists to get to know programs, or to help them grow.



Since 1994 my organization has been creating maps to show where programs are needed in the Chicago region, based on high poverty, poorly performing schools and other indicators. We've plotted locations of nearly 130 site based programs on the maps and you can clearly see that many neighborhoods are under-served.  


In addition to drawing attention and resources to individual programs, I think we also need to draw attention to intermediaries who are trying to help youth organizations grow.


This map shows intermediary organizations focusing on well-being of Chicago area youth that I'm aware of. Click on the link at the bottom of each node to go the the organization's web site.  

One way we might help more youth serving organizations grow would be for the intermediaries to point to each other on their web sites. 


"Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis" and Global Cities Summit - Are you aware of these? 

When you think about a tutor/mentor program, are you thinking like an architect or project manager responsible for building a tall building? Are you thinking of all the support kids in poverty might need over a ten to 15 year period to help them move through school and into jobs? 


Are you a sub-contractor, doing part of the work? Or are you trying to figure out all things kids need? 


Putnam's book is getting lots of high level visibility. You can connect with him on Facebook and find articles and videos to share with your volunteers and supporters.

Unfortunately, Putnam's book doesn't provide many details, or, a blueprint of the work needed to make K-12 tutor, mentor and learning programs available in every poverty neighborhood of America.  I'd like to see him use graphics like this "influence" chart (see article) to show how he'd build the commitment and flow of operating resources needed to help constantly improving tutoring, mentoring and learning programs grow in all the places where they are needed. 


This brings me to the Global Cities summit that was held in Chicago last week. Fifteen panel discussions shared ideas on topics important to Chicago and the largest urban areas of the world. There are 75 urban areas in the world with populations ranging from 5 million (Atlanta) up to 37 million (Tokyo). The size of these cities makes solving problems of inequality much more difficult for smaller cities.  Chicago is 37th on this list with a regional population of over 9 million. You can see videos from each panel discussion here and see article I wrote, here

The articles I share, and the conferences I've hosted in Chicago every six months since May 1994, have intended to share ideas that anyone could use to help build mentor-rich youth programs in high poverty neighborhoods.

I've been using concept maps and visualizations to share strategy, and show information in the Tutor/Mentor library, for many years.  I created this page to help visitors from Chicago, and the world, browse the library of concept maps.  

Since every major city in the world has areas of concentrated poverty, each is trying to find solutions. That means as you do your research on building strong programs, or a city of strong programs, you should be looking at ideas from other cities, not just Chicago.  In this section of the Tutor/Mentor library, I point to programs and networks beyond Chicago. 


As youth organizations finish this school year, I encourage sponsors, donors, business partners, as well as program leaders, to think of ways youth and volunteers could dig into this library of information and help lead discussions, deeper learning, and planning, that enables programs to borrow ideas from others and encourages donors and volunteers to provide time, talent and dollars to help programs build these ideas into activities included in the coming school year.

View the strategy visualizations done by interns working with Tutor/Mentor Connection. Youth in different programs and cities could be making their own versions of the same presentations. 

Make this an on-going process. It can lead to more comprehensive programs reaching youth in the coming school year--and in future years.  


Thank you to those who attended May 8,  Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference In Chicago 

Building and sustaining a citywide network of youth serving organizations requires an on-going ability to bring key people together.   

During Jan-May 2015 at group of students looked at attendance lists of all tutor/mentor conferences  held since 1994 and created some graphics showing participation history. Read this article to learn more.  


I hope to find others who will look at this data and create additional visualizations, similar to those or 2008-09 conferences.  These could be used to convince others who organize their own events and conferences to begin to use participation mapping to show who is attending their events and to help recruit others who are not yet as involved as they need to be. 


No date has been set for a November 2015 Tutor/Mentor Conference in Chicago due to consistent lack of funding.  Watch this newsletter and the conference web site for notices of future conferences. 


If you have Questions, please contact Dan Bassill at


While it's only June, Do You have a Strategy to Recruit Volunteers in August/September?

Here's a PDF with ideas for volunteer recruitment. 


Here's another PDF, focusing on ways business can help tutor/mentor programs grow. 


These are part of a collection of ideas shared here and here. They can be applied in Chicago, or any other city.


Congratulations and Notices:  

Tutoring Chicago, celebrating 50 years - read more

Partners in Education, celebrating 50 years - see video

Lawyers Lend A Hand Program to  Youth, celebrating 20 years 

Illinois Campus Compact:  Celebrating 20+ Years of Impact

WTTW American Graduate - Celebration of Graduation event, June 13.  see details


2015 College Changes Everything (CCE) Conference, July 16, Tinley Park Convention Center, Tinley Park, Illinois - see details

MENTOR celebrating 25 years in Nov. 2015. see details

These and many other resources can be found in the web library at 


President's Message.  


Let's Connect

I've been sharing ideas since 1994, intended to help mentor-rich programs grow in high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago and other cities.  This news article was written in 1994. It's included in this 1998 presentation, showing what Tutor/Mentor Connection has been trying to accomplish.

For many reasons I've not been able to make this happen in Chicago and to many, the Tutor/Mentor Connection may be an "old idea". However, in any of the global cities where people are looking for new strategies, this may be one you could embrace, and lead. I'd like to help you.


I share a lot of ideas and information in these newsletters. If you'd like to schedule a meeting where I can walk you through the web sites and help you find information that might be valuable to you, or introduce me to new ideas that might be added to the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web library, just email or connect with me on Twitter to schedule a day and time to meet.

If you're not in Chicago, let's connect via Skype or a Google Hangout. 


If you can provide financial support to help me continue this effort, please visit this page






Daniel Bassill

Tutor/Mentor Connection
Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC 

(Photo above is me in 1973 with my mentee, Leo Hall. We're still connected 50 years later.)



On Twitter @tutormentorteam
Join us on Facebook 
Join Linkedin Network    

Read strategy articles on 

See archive of past newsletters  - here