Home 2024 Tutor/Mentor Newsletters January 2024 T/M eNews
Jan 2024 T/MI Newsletter

January 2024 - Issue 229

Tutor Mentor Institute LLC newsletter heading with blue background

Happy New Year! I wish all readers good health, hope and happiness in 2024 and beyond.

January is National Mentoring Month and you'll see much about the roles of youth and volunteers in various forms of mentoring.


As you read this newsletter many will be preparing to celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. I'll be spending my time this weekend curating my library and sharing the resources.


Service needs to be more than one day in order to reach K-12 youth in economically disadvantaged areas, with life changing opportunities. Daily actions are needed to help all youth serving programs attract a consistent flow of operating and innovation resources.

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!

Visit Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Website

Celebrate Mentoring. Look at what's happening around the country.

Above is a photo from 2001 when the US Postal Service issued a mentoring stamp and the Tutor/Mentor Connection was able to introduce it at one of our 2001 Leadership Conferences in Chicago. I wrote about this on my January 2024 blog.


Below are key links:


* National Mentoring Month - https://www.mentoring.org/campaigns/national-mentoring-month/


* Mentoring Research Symposium (Jan 24) - https://nationalmentoringresourcecenter.org/youth-mentoring-research-symposium/


* Mentor Resource Library - https://www.mentoring.org/resource-library/


* National Mentoring Summit - (Jan 24-26) https://www.mentoring.org/national-mentoring-summit/


* The State of Mentoring in Chicago (Jan 19) - https://www.chicagomentoringcollaborative.com/events

Are volunteers in your youth-serving organizations doing this?

These are two graphics that I started using in the 1990s to describe the type of tutor/mentor program I was leading in Chicago and the roles I wanted our volunteers to take ...... above, and beyond, the weekly connections they had with young people in our program.


I started building a library of tutor/mentor information in the 1970s to support my own actions as a volunteer tutor, then as a volunteer leader of an organized tutor/mentor program. When we formed the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 we accelerated the collection of information, launching an annual survey in January 1994 to learn who else was operating tutor/mentor programs in Chicago, what age group they served, what type of tutor and/or mentor programs they offered, and where they were located.


At the same time I expanded my search for research showing where these programs were most needed, based on indicators such as high poverty or poorly performing schools. I also began to aggregate information about how to raise money, how to recruit and train volunteers, how to evaluate and constantly improve a program.


I hosted this in a library at my program offices within the Montgomery Ward corporate headquarters from 1994 to 1999 then began putting it on the Internet, in a web library, in the late 1990s. I'm still adding to that library regularly as we begin 2024.


The graphics above show the goal for volunteers to share information from this library with people in their networks, and in their workplace, so that more people would support my program, or other programs in Chicago and around the country.


You can access my lists of tutor/mentor programs at https://tutormentorexchange.net/chicago-area-program-links


You can access the research library at https://tutormentorexchange.net/resource-links


The information in the Tutor/Mentor Library can be used by anyone, anywhere, so if you're leading a program, encourage your volunteers to share the links, and use the information yourself, to operate and constantly improve your own program.

I've been sharing the same information for almost 50 years

A few years ago a donor told me that he no longer read my newsletters because I repeated the same information over, and over. I told him a lesson I learned from a marketing executive at the Montgomery Ward Corporation many years ago.


I had asked him "Why do we keep repeating the same type of ads, with the same merchandise, at the same time each year?" He replied, "There is always a new customer looking for what we offer in our stores and if we don't have an ad showing that information, that customer might shop in another store." Then he said "We'll get tired of delivering the message before we run out of potential customers.


That applies to my work.


In the 1970s and 1980s I shared this information with volunteers in the tutor/mentor program I led, via weekly newsletters printed on a duplicating machine (remember those?)


In the 1990s I shared information via a printed newsletter. The first issue in June 1993 reached 400 people. The last printed issue in 2003 was sent to nearly 14,000. I never sent these more than 4 times a year.


In 2003 we switched to email marketing and in 2005 we started a blog. Our list of 14,000 people did not transfer to our email list so we lost contact with many people. Our email list never reached more than 2500. Thus, millions of people have never heard any of the messages I've sent.


Due to fund raising challenges ever since founding the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 and the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC in 2011, I've never been able to do more.


Thus while you may have seen the information I send, you may not have acted upon it. And you may not have shared it with other people.


That's the purpose of the graphic shown above. Share the information. Help it reach more people.

Don't reinvent the wheel. Lesson applied.

Last January my newsletter included many sub sections that asked readers to "think about needed infrastructure" and other things we need to be thinking about when we see an image of a mentor with a youth. Rather than repeat that same information in January 2024, I urge you to read last year's newsletter again.


Until we build a segmented understanding of who is being served, by what type of programs, and where more programs are needed, we'll never reach even a third of all the young people who might benefit from being part of an organized tutor/mentor program.


As you look at the articles in last year's newsletter, ask "Who is doing this research?" and "Who could be doing this research?"


Share your own research, ideas for building stronger programs and building hope and opportunity that propels more youth through school and into adult lives. Connect with me on Twitter (x), Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Bluesky, Threads and other platforms.

If more people get involved, more organized programs will reach youth throughout Chicago and other cities

When I use the term "volunteer-based" I don't just mean that volunteers serve as one-on-one and group tutors and mentors. I mean that many volunteers use their talent and engage their networks to help build and sustain organized, on-going, mentor-rich programs in more place where they are needed.


Think of all the different talent and skills needed to build a successful sports team, or a successful business. Those skills and talents are needed at every single tutor/mentor program. They are needed at the neighborhood level. They are needed at the city level.


I wrote this article in December 2023, titled "Building Great Tutor/Mentor Teams"


We need to grow more leaders and supporters - view this "tipping point" article.


What are you doing to build great teams that support youth tutor, mentor and learning programs?


Thank you for your 2023 support. Please continue in 2024

You don't need to wait 100 years to use information I share

I've depended on a small group of donors to help fund the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC since 2011 so that I could continue to keep the Tutor/Mentor Connection resources available to Chicago and help similar intermediaries grow in other cities.


To those who gave in 2023, thank you. Here's my FundT/MI page. Please add your support in 2024.

  • See latest additions to the Tutor/Mentor Library at this link.

Recent Tutor/Mentor Blog articles:



Read my Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. blog articles from past years - click here


Copy this Idea! Support Tutor/Mentor Programs - click here


What if Students in Every City Did This? - click here


These "Calls to Action" Need New Energy - click here


Spreading the Good News (using social media) - click here


Invitation to universities - click here



Bookmark these Tutor/Mentor Resources



* Homework Help Resources - click here


* Resource Library - click here


* Strategy PDFs by Tutor/Mentor - click here


* Concept Map library - click here


* Work done by interns - 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


* 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.

Resources & Announcements. These sites regularly update the information they share so visit them often.


* Every Hour Count - How Afterschool Intermediaries Have Supported Youth and Communities During the Pandemic - read PDF


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


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



* AfterSchool Alliance - resources - click here


* Proven Tutoring - click here


* Chicago Learning Exchange - click here


* Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative - click here Learn about Landscape Surveys - click here


* University of Chicago Civic Engagement news - click here


* Brookings Metro newsletter - poverty research - click here


* Illinois College Access Network - click here


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


* Center for Effective Philanthropy - click here


* Chicago Public Schools locator map - click here


* Chicago Health Atlas - click here


* Indiana Afterschool Network newsletter - click here

* Incarceration Reform Resource Center - click here


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

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. Connect with me and share links to resources, on any of the social media platforms shown below.

Tutor/Mentor Connection, Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC

Serving Chicago area since 1993

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | http://www.tutormentorexchange.net


Thank you to those who help fund the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC

and this newsletter. Please send a 2024 contribution.


Connect with Dan (tutormentor) on one of these social media platforms.





Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, c/o Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, Il. 60654 Phone. Skype #dbassill; FAX 312-787-7713; email: tutormentor2@earthlink.net | Powered by OpenSource!