Happy New Year! and Best Wishes to every Youth Organization Leader, Volunteer and Supporter as you Celebrate National Mentoring Month and begin 2016 Activities.

 

January 2016                                                                                  Issue: #148
 
Celebrate Mentoring During National Mentoring Month. Dig Deeper into Information and Ideas.

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. There's a lot of information so I try to send this only once a 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.
 

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Celebrate Mentoring During January Mentoring Month
Many forms of volunteer involvement include youth mentoring components. 

January is National Mentoring Month.  Visit this page to find details and national events that you can use to celebrate mentoring and draw support to your own organization and others during January 2016.  Visit the Illinois Mentoring Partnership page to learn about local activities.

As you celebrate, look for ideas that increase your reach and impact. Build better information bases. Dig deeper. Involve your entire organization. I posted this article during the first week of January, encouraging volunteers, donors, program leaders and more to build information bases that match type of program and mentoring strategy with needs of youth being served by each strategy.

Visit web sites and Facebook pages.

Here's my list of Chicago area youth serving organizations that include various forms of tutoring and/or mentoring.  
Here's a list of the same organizations, pointing to their Facebook pages. 
 
With this concept map I point to other web sites where volunteers, parents and/or donors can search to find youth serving programs in different zip codes of Illinois and the country.

This is a link to a concept map that points volunteers, youth, parents and educators to web sites that can be used for homework help, tutoring, mentoring and learning.

Help keep this information up-to-date. If you know of other programs in the Chicago area who offer organized, on-going, tutor/mentor activities, send me the link at tutormentor2@earthlink.net  

Help programs tell their stories.  As you look at web sites you'll see some organizations do a great job of showing why they are needed and what they do, and how volunteers and donors can help. Others don't do this as well. If you're a volunteer with communications, marketing, technology, social media skills, reach out and offer your talent to help programs tell their stories more effectively. In some cases this might also involve helping programs re-define their strategies and find the resources needed to build and sustain great programs. 
 
More Resources to Support Deeper Learning
What are  your volunteers reading? Where are they learning? Are donors connecting with you in on-line communities?

I used the above graphic in this Logic Model PDF. It is one of many strategy presentations in the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC library.

Recently some of my friends on the Internet have been sharing ideas about using annotation to support deeper learning.  What's annotation? You do it when you highlight a section of an article or book. You do it when you write a note in the margin of a document. Now you can do it using online tools. You can also teach students you work with to do this.

These are a few recent articles I encourage you to read:  

Annotation: A Learning & Collaboration tool - click here

What Do We Need to Be Thinking About? Helping Urban Youth - click here
 
The Poor, and the Hopeless Don't Vote. How do we Change That? - click here
 
I've continued to build this library over the past 40 years and it's been available on the Internet since 1998. I point to more than 2000 other web sites, with information leaders can use to build strong programs, and that volunteers and resource providers can use to help strong programs grow. If every youth serving organization created its own "learning culture" then its students would also be spending time on a regular basis drawing from information in the library to support their own efforts as they move through school and into adult lives.

Many of the articles on the Tutor/Mentor Blog point to information in the library. I add to this every week.
 
Is your web site providing enough information to motivate volunteers, donors and leaders to support you? Visit this Shopper Guide PDF and consider what types of information you could be sharing on your web site. 

 
Use Maps As Part of Resource and Program Development Strategies.  Teach youth, volunteers to create map stories.
A growing number of data visualization resources are available to your team. 
 
Since 1994 I've used maps to show areas of Chicago with high concentrations of poverty, poorly performing schools, violence and other indicators, in an effort to focus attention, and resources to support the growth of well-organized, mentor-rich, tutoring, mentoring programs in each of these areas.
 
In the Tutor/Mentor blog you can find dozens of stories which include maps I've created.  At the MappingforJustice blog, you can find links to a growing number of mapping platforms that can be used to build a case for government, business and philanthropic support of youth serving organizations in different neighborhoods. 
 
I add new links every month, so I encourage you to subscribe so you receive the latest updates.
 
I believe that leaders from all sectors need to be involved in helping youth serving and jobs training programs be available in every high poverty neighborhood. Leaders need to use maps, the way Generals use maps, to make sure programs are in all places where they are needed, and to develop supply systems to make sure each program is well supported.  
 
I think young people can learn to use maps, and build map stories, and to share these on social media in ways that build greater attention, and draw more adults into conversations that lead to a better flow of resources and services helping youth and families overcome the challenges of poverty, racism and inequality.
 
However, educators, volunteers and program leaders need to facilitate programs that engage young people in this information, at least until they are able to lead the process themselves.
 
Below are links to a few articles that illustrate this goal:
 
* Using maps of political districts in violence prevention strategy - link
* Chicago Community Areas: Youth In Poverty - link
* Planning Cycle - War on Poverty - link
* Role of Leaders - link
* Mentor Role in a Larger Strategy - link
 
Year Round Strategy
Follow up to 2016 State Of the Union Address
What's next for President Obama?

As I watched last week's State of the Union Address, I thought back to articles I've posted, encouraging the President and elected leaders to provide on-going, distributed support, to youth serving organizations in high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago and other cities.
 
Here's an article I wrote in May 2014.  Here's article I wrote in January 2010. Here's article I posted on LinkedIN last week.
You can search the Tutor/Mentor blog and find similar articles posted since I launched the blog in 2005. You can find printed newsletters from the 1990s, with the same messages.
 
I use the graphic above to show four key times each year when our collective voices, and the voices of high profile leaders, might result in greater response from volunteers, donors, media and those we need involved in helping us build and sustain strong youth serving organizations.

This video , this animation, and this pdf describe this year-round strategy and these key events.

Imagine if this strategy had been happening in Chicago every year since I launched the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993.   I think there would be more volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs operating in all of the high poverty neighborhoods of Chicago, and many would have stories showing long-term impact on lives of kids and volunteers. 

Now imagine you're in the year 2030. Will poverty, inequality and the distribution of needed, long-term, tutoring, mentoring and learning programs be any different?  

Will former Presidents, like President Obama, embrace, and lead this strategy?

Maybe. If you read this, rewrite it, and share it with people in your own network who might do the same. 

 
Tutor/Mentor Leadership & Networking Conference History
Map shows organizations who've participated in Chicago conference, from 1994 through 2014.

I hosted a first Tutor/Mentor Leadership & Networking Conference in May 1994, with workshops presented by people who were leading Chicago area tutor/mentor programs. WITS, Cluster Tutoring Program, 4th Presbyterian Church Tutoring Program, Highsight, and Cabrini-Green Tutoring Program (now Tutoring Chicago) were among 70 people who attended. Many felt it was a success. So we did another in November 1994 and 200 people attended. I've hosted these conferences every six months since then.
 
Recently a volunteer from Indiana uploaded attendance list data from every past conference, to create a map that shows where participants came from, and what sector they represent. You can see that people have come from all over the country.  Read this article to find links and learn more

While I did not host the conference in November 2016, I am working with participants from past conferences to bring it back in May/June 2016. Watch for updates on the Tutor/Mentor Conference web site. 
 
In the meantime, I'll continue to share ideas via blogs, concept maps, this newsletter, and on-line forums with a goal of inspiring more people throughout the "village" to adopt some of these ideas in their own strategies. 

Read some of my articles featuring cMOOCs.
I think this offers an exciting way for volunteers, donors, programs, researchers, etc. to connect online.

If you'd like to meet on-line, or face-to-face, for a tour of the on-line resources of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, please reach out to me via social media or one of the links shown below.


 
Help Me Continue to Host and Share these Ideas

Thank you to those who sent financial support in December and throughout 2015.  While I'm not operating as a 501-c-3 non profit, I am operating with no source of revenue to maintain the information I point to in this newsletter. Thus, I continue to seek help.
 
Visit this page and look at the range of information, ideas and resources made available to Chicago by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
 
Compare this to what other Mentoring and Tutoring leaders and youth intermediaries offer on their own web sites. Few show the same type of information, or as extensive a web library...unless they have links pointing to my sites, which most do not.  Your support is needed to help me continue this work.
 
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Tutor/Mentor Blog http://tutormentor.blogspot.com

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