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.
March 2019 - Issue 179
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.
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Maps Show Chicago is Divided City - and Divided Region.   How Do We Make Mentor Rich Youth Programs and Digital Learning Opportunities Available to Kids in ALL Low Income Areas?
In recent WBEZ articles maps have been used to show the growing divide between rich and poor in Chicago, and the growing digital learning access divide. See these maps in blog articles here, here and here.

Why maps? Maps force us to think of all the places where people need help. Without them, we focus on a few great programs, operating in a few places.  Concept maps work like blueprints, showing all the work that needs to be done, for many years. Without them we have great pieces of a solution, but not enough to fix complex problems.  In the blog articles and PDF presentations I point to you'll see multiple uses of geographic maps and concept maps.  Here's one article where I share a few of the key concept maps from my collection. 
You can use this information, as part of a community group, or Board of Directors, a business, faith group or philanthropic organization, that works to make mentor-rich programs available in one or more neighborhoods of Chicago and/or its suburbs (or in another city).  
Map of Chicago has oil well icons in many places indicating sites of growing tutor mentor programs.

Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) formed in 1993, and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, formed in 2011, point to these  maps in efforts to stimulate thinking and actions of more people throughout the Chicago region and in other cities.
a) T/MC maintains a list of non-school tutor/mentor programs and seeks to draw on-going ideas and support to each program, and the youth and volunteers they serve; 
b) At the same time, we seek to building public attention and draw more people to the library of information and ideas that are hosted on the T/MC web sites.
This information base is intended to support actions of youth programs and resource providers, to help every non-school tutor, mentor and learning program in the city get the resources needed to sustain operations and, hopefully, constantly improve by learning and borrowing ideas from others
Planning teams, within programs, at the neighborhood level, and/or within high schools and colleges, could be digging into these platforms, and then drawing people together to discuss ways to support existing non-school programs and to help new programs form to fill voids.  

This should be an on-going process, but if it starts now, by August new strategies could be in place to draw attention and resources to existing programs, and a few new programs might also have been created.  
Read more:
* Tipping Points: Actions That Might Transform Lives of Inner city Kids - click here
* Mentor Role in Larger Youth Development Strategy - click here
* Role of Leaders: How CEOs can help youth move from birth to careers - click here
* Total Quality Mentoring: A Vision For Mentor-Rich Youth Programs - click here
These are just four from a collection of more than 60 illustrated strategy essays you can find in the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web library. Use as discussion starters in big or small group planning and learning.

What Tutor / Mentor Programs Are in Your Part of Chicago? Are there Enough?
View this map in this blog article 
Learn about resources in Tutor/Mentor web library - read article
I've been maintaining a list of Chicago area non school, volunteer-based tutor and mentor programs since 1993. Every spring I open each link to make sure it works, see what the program is doing and then try to draw attention to them with a Tweet, or Facebook post.
Below you can see how programs are listed in the Tutor/Mentor library. You can sort the list, or re-order it from newest to oldest. Under each listing is a count for how many times that site has been viewed by a visitor to the T/MC site. No one pays for this, so each click is a potential volunteer or donor, at no cost.

This information is used to create the maps shown at the top of this article. You can find the map I've been using since 2016 at this link
NOTE: There is a wide difference between the type of programs, both in what they do, and how they show what they do on their web sites.  Volunteers with communications and technology backgrounds could reach out to any of these organizations and offer help in shaping and communicating their messages.  
View the "Shoppers Guide" presentation to see some things I feel should be shown on every youth program web site. 

In the maps section of the Tutor/Mentor blog I show a few other sections of the city, but ideally, maps like this would be created for every section of the city, then used by community leaders to find ways to support existing programs, and help new ones form if more are needed.
I'm available for a one hour Skype session, at $250, to walk you through the process of creating these map views.
This could be done for other cities, too. However, someone has to be doing the initial work of building a library of existing programs, and keeping it up-to-date.

Help Needed.
I need help updating this information, and sharing it with others. What I do could be a student/volunteer project of a school or faith group, a youth program, or a college project. 
As poverty has moved into the Chicago suburbs, the growth of youth tutor, mentor and learning programs has not kept pace. For instance, my library only includes three groups in the South Suburbs. There must be more. Or there needs to be more.
My goal is that teams adopt specific sections of the city and suburbs and build a deep understanding that not only builds better information about existing programs, or the need for more programs, but also draws people together to use the information to help build and sustain needed programs.  
Use the contact information below to connect with me if you'd like to talk about helping.

Creating a Tutor/Mentor Program Is Easy. Keeping it in Business for 10-20 years, and making it Great at Helping Kids Through School, is much more difficult.
The graphic above reminds us of the many experiments Thomas Edison did before getting a working light bulb. Few people think of what it took to make electricity available throughout the world, so there would be light bulbs in most homes.
If you're a parent you know that each of your kids is unique, and constantly changing. You also know you had little training for the job of raising kids. Thus, you're learning as you go. Being a volunteer and/or leading a tutor/mentor program has many of the same challenges, but with many others added on.

That's why the Tutor/Mentor Connection was created in 1993.  The ideas shared on Tutor/Mentor blogs and in the web library are intended to support the efforts of people in Chicago and in other places who are trying to build and sustain systems of support that help kids in poverty move safely through school and into adult lives.  Take some time to browse the library and get to know what's available.

An extensive web library is available.  Each month new links are added.
View this short video to see how you can find recently added links.  
Below are a few new links added recently to Tutor/Mentor web library:
* 1.3 Million Homeless Students in US - click here
* 2018 GradNation report. Progress slowing. click here
* How racial and regional inequality affect economic opportunity - click here
* Teaching with Graphic Novels (PDF) - click here
* Resilient Chicago - A Plan for Inclusive Growth - click here
* 13 Steps That Help Define A Quality mentoring Program - click here
* A Generation of School Closings in Chicago - WBEZ 2018 article - click here
* Study of High Net-Worth Philanthropy - click here
* Four Pathways to Greater Giving from High Wealth Donors - click here
* Our Shared Digital Future - World Economic Forum - click here
* March Connected Learning #clmooc Reading - Affinity OnLine - click here
* America's Incarceration Crisis - click here
View this blog article to find links to every section in Tutor/Mentor web library. 

Additional resources to help Chicago area organizations and supporters connect, learn and work collectively to help build support systems for youth:

* Resources to find Chicago Tutor and/or Mentor Programs - click here
* Homework help & learning resources in Tutor/Mentor Library - click here
* Resources for fund raising - click here
* Strengthening Chicago Youth web site, click here;   blog - click here

* MENTOR Illinois - click here
* Civil Liberties - resource map (recommend other links). -click here
* To & Through Project web site - click here

* Incarceration Reform Digital Resource Center - click here
* City of Chicago, CPS, links - click here 

* Chicago Organizations in Intermediary Roles  - click here

* Hashtags I follow on Twitter. Use to expand your own network - click here

There's a lot in each monthly newsletter. Bookmark it, or use this ARCHIVE page to find this and previous issues. 

Can You Help Me Pay the Bills?

I've had no significant funding to support the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC since 2011. Thus, I appeal to those who read this newsletter and use the resources to offer your support. 
To get a sense of what I do, view this document in my Google Docs file, that shows some of my interactions over the last two months of 2018 and the logic behind the information I share on an ongoing basis.   Here's are similar docs for January 2019 and February 2019.

If you agree this is a value, then  CLICK HERE to and use the PayPal, or mailing address, to send a contribution. 
If you'd like to help re-build the Tutor/Mentor Connection and/or bring it to your own city, let's start a conversation.

Tutor/Mentor Connection, Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
 Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, Il 60654 |

Read about a Tutor/Mentor Connection "do-over" -
"What Can You Do to Help" - click here  

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Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, IL 60654