Tutor/Mentor Connection

Connect knowledge, volunteers, youth and make a difference.

At key times each year we need to stand together, sing the same song, and take on roles that build visibility and draw volunteers and donors to all tutor/mentor programs in a city, neighborhood, or country. These are events the T/MC organizes.

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Comment by Daniel Bassill on May 4, 2009 at 10:35am
Now that the number of people in the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum on Ning is growing, I'd like to start discussions about the strategies of the T/MC, which are intended to draw more consistent public attention to the issues of poverty, violence, racism, education, workforce development, etc. and to volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs as an important part of a solution.

By sharing your own ideas about what a tutor/mentor program is, and what you do in your own program, we each learn from each other, and we also help educate consumers (volunteers, donors, parents, etc.) so they make more informed choices when they reach out to support tutor/mentor programs.

Use your profile to talk about your own program, the needs of your own community, and to provide links to sites that provide additional information, and enable donors and volunteers to see what you do and choose to support you.

The graphic I'm pointing to shows a 12 month strategy, that start each August with recruiting volunteers for all tutor/mentor programs in a geographic areas, then continues through the year so those volunteers stay and grow with their student and their program. As we near the end of each year, some volunteers should be growing into leader roles, and reaching into their business, alumni, religious and other networks for ideas, resources, dollars and other volunteers to support the program they participate with as it plans year-to-year sustainability and quality improvement.

Find articles related to such leadership and collaboration on the Tutor/Mentor Institute site

The May 28 and 29 Tutor/Mentor Conference is the next event on this chart. The goal is to draw people together to share the work they each do, and to build relationships that lead to greater collaboration among programs. It should celebrate the work done to bring youth and volunteers together in the past year. It should also show that there are still too few programs in most high poverty neighborhoods, and that the kids are only one year older, and need to be supported again in 2009-10, if the goal is that the mentoring and tutoring helps them graduate from high school, and move through college to jobs.

As we share this information, and create gatherings in Chicago and other cities to support face-based networking, these events can attract media attention, and attract higher levels of support for tutoring/mentoring. Without leaders in business, religion, politics and philanthropy working to provide consistent, flexible, on-going dollars and talent, most tutor/mentor programs cannot improve from year to year, and many will not survive from year to year.

Thus, I encourage those of you who are in the Chicago region, to do all you can to attend the conference, and to encourage people you know to attend, or join us on this forum.

If you're in another city, or country, create your own event, drawing together people in your own community, to support programs in your own community. But do your planning here on this forum, so your network, and your event, contributes to what we're doing in Chicago, and what happens in other cities.

If you can get media to write a story about your program, end it with a link to this forum, or the tutor/mentor connection blog or web site. That way each one of us takes the 15 minutes of public attention and shares it with everyone else. If enough people do this throughout the year, we all get more attention than we could working alone. If this leads to more people providing dollars to support our work, we all get a share of those increased dollars, assuming you have a web site showing what you do, and you talk about it in this forum.

If you have a marketing strategy that draws on-going attention and resources to your organization, and to other pro

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