As Volunteers Become Tutors & Mentors A Source of Ideas
and Training Becomes Important for Every Tutor/Mentor Program.


Sept  2015                                                                                                Issue: #144
Homework Help; Tutoring, Mentoring Ideas. Use On-line Resources To Support Youth & Volunteers.
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. 
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Homework Help; Ideas for Tutoring, Mentoring, Learning
Point volunteers and youth to these links; enhance their own on-going learning.

While volunteer-based tutoring and mentoring programs are still in the process of recruiting, screening, orientating, training and matching students and volunteers, this newsletter points out additional on-line resources available to every tutoring and/or mentoring program in the country.  This information can help volunteers answer the weekly "What do I do?" questions that will be raised every week during the coming school year, in programs across the country.

Hopefully your program has outlined a strategy and provided materials that answer this question for most of your volunteers. However, even in the most sophisticated programs, some volunteers and students will be looking for ideas beyond what your program may be providing.  If you point them to the Homework Help map (above) they can do their own deeper learning, finding ideas that they can add into weekly tutoring/mentoring efforts.

If you have a blog, or spaces where volunteers and students talk to each other, and share ideas, you can encourage them to talk about on-line resources they have found helpful, turning your volunteers and students into assistant trainers.  If you're doing this, share your blog links via social media so others can learn from you.

Create a Learning Organization
Involve youth, volunteers, staff, board and funders in defining goals and strategy

While you're just starting this school year, you'll be starting the next year before you know it. A "Learning Organization" is one where all stakeholders are looking at ideas that help the organization become great at what it does.  In the graphic above I point to two questions that I hope are part of every tutor/mentor program's on-going thinking.

First, "What are all the things we need to be doing to assure that kids who join us today are starting jobs and careers when they are in their mid 20's". 

Second, if every program is constantly experimenting, to find ways to inspire participation and deeper engagement of students, volunteers and donors, who is looking at this from a neighborhood or citywide level, asking "How do we ensure that there are great non-school tutoring, mentoring and learning programs in all areas where they are most needed?"

Encourage your entire network to dig into the links on this concept map and browse through the sections of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site where they will find links to more than 2000 other web sites, with ideas that can be discussed throughout the year.  As you head into next year you will have more ideas for how you continue to improve the impact of your own organization and you may have more people helping you implement those ideas.

Engage Youth In Learning and Communicating Strategy
This video was created by an intern working with Tutor/Mentor Institute in Chicago.

Since 2005 interns from a variety of Chicago and national universities have helped to communicate strategies that are intended to help volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in more places. See library of videos and visualizations.

From 1996 to 2011 the Cabrini Connections* tutor/mentor program, which I founded in 1993, engaged youth and volunteers in a video creation project, intended to teach skills and build motivation to participate regularly in the program, and intended to draw attention and resources to support our efforts. Here are two videos among many that were created. "College Bound, No Doubt about That"   Cabrini Madness Episode 4

This type of student and volunteer involvement could be part of almost any site-based tutor/mentor program, offering opportunities for extra learning and skill building, while at the same time adding manpower to your efforts to draw attention and resources to your program.  If you're already doing this, share links to your media and web pages so others can learn from you.
*I've not been part of Cabrini Connections since 2011 and am not sure if they still continue a video program.
Year Round Strategy
Build Year-Round Strategy to Mobilize Support for Needed Programs
Connect with others in Chicago and other Cities

The Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) was started in 1993 as a marketing strategy intended to raise visibility and draw increased volunteer and donor support to EVERY non-school tutoring and/or mentoring program in the Chicago region. The strategy was borrowed from how big retail companies support multiple stores across the country with central office strategies.

From 1993 through 1999 an event strategy was developed, which is described in this video and this animation. From 2002 to 2011 the T/MC suffered from a loss of donors and inconsistent funding, yet continued to support this event strategy and share the idea with others via presentations, like this Collaboration Goals PDF.

Since 2011 the T/MC has been led by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, with even fewer resources to continue this strategy. For the first year since 1994 a November Tutor/Mentor Conference will not be held in Chicago. Hopefully I'll be able to organize a May conference in 2016. 

However, it's not important that I be the lead organizer on these events. What's important is that a few organizations in Chicago, and other cities, are aggregating information showing what youth serving organizations operate in the city and where more programs are needed. If this information is available, many other organizations, political leaders, media and celebrities can point to this information in ways that draw more people into the process of helping existing organizations become great, and stay great, while helping new organizations form in areas where more are needed. 

The information shared in this newsletter, and on Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web sites can support this process in Chicago, or any other city.   

Help Mobilize Leaders Who Adopt and Lead this Strategy.

Big cities throughout America face the challenges of concentrated poverty and inequality and could use the ideas and resources shared on Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web sites.

However, most don't even know this information exists, and most don't have teams looking at this information in an effort to build better strategies to reduce inequality, improve opportunity and make their cities places where business wants to locate and where people want to live and raise families.

Thus, I encourage you to use your social media, email and face-to-face events to share this newsletter and the ideas on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site. They are FREE. The only cost is the time it takes for you to look at them.

Read: Role of Leaders  ....: Collaboration Goals  .... Recruiting Talent Volunteers

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