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April 2024 Tutor/Mentor eNews

April 2024 - Issue 231

Tutor Mentor Institute LLC newsletter heading with blue background

Celebrate volunteers.
National Volunteer Month.

If you lead a volunteer-based youth tutor, mentor program, or other types of activity that engages volunteers, they need to be recognized, and well-supported, throughout the year.


In one of the graphics I share in this month's newsletter is a "volunteer growth cycle" that shows how volunteers who stay with programs for multiple years often become leaders, advocates and resource builders who help the host organization attract needed resources.

This planning should lead to a constant improvement in what programs do to help kids and volunteers connect and build relationships.


The ideas and resources shared in this monthly newsletter point to a library of resources that can be used by anyone, in Chicago, or around the world, to help mentor-rich youth programs thrive in all of the neighborhoods where they are most needed.


Encourage others in your city to find and use these resources!

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Volunteer Growth Cycle. Take a look.

The top graphic is a concept map created in the late 2000s to show volunteer growth in an organized, on-going, tutor, mentor program. The second graphic was created by a volunteer from the University of Michigan School of Information, to communicate the same idea. See it in this video. I describe the elements of the concept map in this blog article

Changes to Constant Contact email address. Due to a new policy, all email coming from services like Constant Contact will have a different format. This may cause email to go into your spam box. That means the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it will now be different.

This is the address that will be on the email for this newsletter. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Think of volunteering as a form of adult service-learning

This graphic is the first page of an animation created in 2011 by an intern from South Korea to visualize the growth of volunteers in organized tutor/mentor programs. You can view it in this video, since Flash animation no longer works. This visualization was actually started in 2007 by an intern from Hong Kong. You can see his version in this blog post.


These visualizations illustrate work that youth in schools, non-school programs and colleges and universities can do to help mobilize and sustain volunteers involvement in organized tutor, mentor and learning programs.


If you read this final post by Sam Lee, who created this animation, you'll see that she said "As a result of internship, I learn more than I expected. So it's very special time to me." Schools and non-school programs who engage youth in projects like this are creating valuable learning opportunities while engaging youth in actual efforts to create a better world.


Look at the conversations posted in this Tutor/Mentor Connection group and see the ways I have coached interns to create visual interpretations of our ideas. Anyone could use these same conversations to engage their own students in doing the same type of projects.


"None of us is as smart as ALL of us" - read the president's message at the bottom of this April 2007 Tutor/Mentor Connection eMail newsletter.

Expand youth tutor/mentor program availability

In March I watched two Friends of the Children-Chicago discussions, titled - "Sounding the Alarm: Understanding the price we pay for illiteracy and what we can do about it". I wrote about them in this Tutor/Mentor blog article.


A week later I posted another article, pointing to a resource created by Matt Desmond, focused on "How We Can End Poverty in America". He has created a "teaching resource" that anyone can use to be what he calls a "Poverty Abolitionist"


As you view the first graphics about supporting volunteer involvement, think of ways you can point your volunteers and donors to these articles, and others like it on the Tutor/Mentor blog.

Look at the archives from 35 years of leading volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in Chicago.


In this article, which I titled, "What motivates me?" I shared year-books and annual reports that showed the activities we offered to support the on-going involvement of youth and volunteers in our programs.


I've created archives of these that you can access, along with copies of our Tutor/Mentor Report newsletter, at this link.


If you're part of a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program I encourage you to look at the activities we used and consider including similar in your own programs. I also encourage you to create blogs and a page on your website to share what you do to help kids and volunteers connect, and stay connected, for many years.

Media, Maps and Map Story archives


The Tutor/Mentor Connection began creating maps and map stories in 1993, to draw attention and resources to organized, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in every high poverty area of Chicago.


In this article I point to these archives.


In this article I point to media stories that were generated by the Tutor/Mentor Connection event strategy.


Does someone in your city have a similar 30 year collection?

What you can do to end Poverty

In 2005 I wrote an article on the Tutor/Mentor blog titled "What you can do to end poverty". I reposted it in this April 2024 article. In March 2024 I included the graphic above, in this article, under the headline "Tutor/Mentor Connection needed in many places.


Most of my maps and graphics show where poverty is concentrated in Chicago. Some of the recent research I've pointed to uses maps to show areas of persistent, long-term poverty. They are the same places!


I use a "birth to work" timeline to show the long-term investment needed in each of the high poverty areas and I use a "hub and spoke" graphic to visualize organized programs that expand the network of "who you know" for kids who have limited connections to work and opportunity because of where they live.

Draw attention to these ideas - share them. Create your own.

The idea for the Tutor/Mentor Connection was born in late 1992 following the shooting death of 7-year-old Dantrell Davis in Chicago, and the media attention that followed it. Having worked in retail advertising for the Montgomery Ward corporation, I knew how we used weekly advertising, throughout the year, to draw attention and shoppers, to our 400 stores in 40 states. I recognized that Chicago needed a similar strategy, to draw volunteers, students and donors to every volunteer-based tutor/mentor program operating in Chicago, and to new programs that needed to grow where too few existed.


We did our planning in 1993 and launched in January 1994. Part of that planning was learning to use GIS maps to show "where" programs were located and where they were needed. Part of it was developing an event strategy, anchored by May and November leadership and networking conferences and an August/September volunteer recruitment campaign, to motivate the local news media to tell our story.


In this blog article I share links to a Google archive that shows dozens of media stories resulting from this strategy being followed for over 20 years.


I share this so leaders in other cities might develop their own strategy, borrowing from my archives and the history of the Tutor/Mentor Connection from 1993 till the present (since 2011 the T/MC has been led by the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and our website is http://www.tutormentorexchange.net)


Some day you should be able to find archives like mine in every city where there are areas of persistent poverty.

New Visual Essay. 30-Year History For 30 years I've reached out to universities in Chicago and beyond, to forge partnerships and campus commitments intended to help volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in high poverty areas of Chicago and other places and help more kids through high school, college, and into jobs. Now you can review this in a new visual essay which I share in this issue of the Tutor/Mentor blog. Share this in your network and help find donors who will bring this strategy to colleges and the cities where they operate.

Below are resources to use. View latest links added to tutor/mentor library, click here

Recent Tutor/Mentor Blog articles that point to Tutor/Mentor Connection archived files:


More maps now in my archive" - click here


What you can do to end poverty - click here


What motivates Me? - click here


Using maps to draw attention and resources to high poverty areas - click here


Helping Tutor/Mentor Programs grow- for over 30 years - click here


Letters to the Editor - Was anyone listening? - click here


Visual essays created since 1990s - click here


30 years later. Same goals. - click here


These "Calls to Action" need new energy - click here


This is what I was doing in 2001 - click here


Tutor/Mentor Connection Vision - 2001 - click here


Bookmark these Tutor/Mentor Resources


* Chicago Volunteer-Based tutor, mentor program list - click here

* Resource Library - click here


* Strategy PDFs by Tutor/Mentor - click here


* Concept Map library - click here


* Work done by interns - click here


* Digital Divide resources - click here


* Political Action resources - click here


* Featured collections on Wakeletclick here


* Tutor/Mentor Institute Videos - click here


* About T/MI articles on blog - click here


* History of T/MC - T/MI articles - click here


* Create a New Tutor/Mentor Connection - click here

Resources & Announcements


* Arts Education in Chicago. View Ingenuity map and State of Arts Report.


* South Side STEM Asset maps - read about using maps - click here


* Extending Employee Volunteer Impact. From Realized Worth blog. click here


* MyChiMyFuture - Chicago youth programs map and directory. click here; visit the website - click here


* To & Through Project website - click here: Follow on Twitter - @UChiToThrough

* Center for Effective Philanthropy - click here


* Forefront -Illinois' statewide association of nonprofits, foundations and advisors. click here


* AfterSchool Alliance resources - click here



* Chicago Mentoring Collaborative - click here


* Chicago Public Schools locator map - click here


* Chicago Health Atlas - click here


* Proven Tutoring clearinghouse - click here


* Chicago Learning Exchange - click here


* Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative - click here


* Chicago Digital Equity Coalition - click here


* Illinois Broadband Lab - click here


* Incarceration Reform Resource Center - click here



* ChiHackNight - remote civic technology meet-up; every Tuesday in Chicago - see weekly agenda


* Chicago Youth Serving Organizations in Intermediary Roles - click here to view a concept map showing many organizations working to help improve the lives of Chicago area youth. Follow the links.

About this newsletter.


While I try to send this only once a month, I write blog articles weekly. Throughout the newsletter 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.

View current and past newsletters at this link.

Encourage friends, family, co-workers to sign up to receive this newsletter. Click here.

(If you subscribe, don't forget to respond to the confirmation email).

Thank you for reading. Please help fund the T/MI.

Tutor/Mentor Connection, Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC

Serving Chicago area since 1993

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