Thursday, March 30, 2006

Collaborative Blogging for Strategic Reasons

I encourage you to read Ethan Zukerman's March 23, 2006 blog titled
From representing to pointing: some thoughts on the future of advocacy. It's at

I also encourage you to read Dr. Robert Halpern's Article, The Big Lie: Reframing Expectations of Afterschool Programs. You can find this at

In past blogs I've talked about the need for non-school tutor/mentor programs to be included in national strategies for raising kids. Dr. Halpern states the value of afterschool programs much better than I can, and calls for a "de enlistment" from strategies that tie funding of non-school programs to narrow test score result measures. Of course, until we find the money this is not likely to happen. Until we change the thinking of a lot of donors, we won't change the flow of dollars.

That's where Zukerman's blog comes in. Those who are tutors, mentors, or who lead these programs have many great stories to tell. At you can read a message posted by one of the seniors in the Cabrini Connections program. In the LINKS library of the Tutor/Mentor Web Library many other tutor/mentor programs tell their stories.

We're all trying convince volunteers and donors to support us.

However, none of us has huge advertising budgets, and each of us singing our own song at different times each day or each year, just makes a loud noise. It's not an orchestra. It's not music. We need to be saying the same things, and aggregating our messages, at key times when what we are talking about can generate a greater response for all of us.

If we learn to adopt some of the strategies Zukerman is describing, and if we find ways to aggregate our blogs, in web libraries like this part of the Tutor/Mentor web library , our blogs do become an orchestra and a collection of stories, and maybe more people will understand what Halpern is writing about and what most of us know from our own experience in leading non-school tutor/mentor programs.

Visit the Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conference page at and read how you can learn more about these strategies, or how you can take a role in teaching others how to blog, or how to build and sustain a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program.

If you know any donors, or people who want to end poverty through education to careers, you can invite them, too. Until they are in the orchestra looking at the same music, we'll still be struggling to find a place to play.

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