Sunday, August 09, 2009

We Want Youths Off the Street, but Won't Pay for Positive Activities

Mary Mitchell's column in the Sunday Chicago SunTimes talks about how the highly regarded Simon HS baseball team is playing on a ragged, dirt field. She writes "We want young people off the street. But we don't want to spend the money it takes to keep them engaged in positive activities."

As she says "This goes to the heart of our youth problem." We can't have effective, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs operating in neighborhoods all over the city if we can't innovate ways to point revenue on a consistent based to each of those programs.

One way to do this would be for company leaders to build the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator into their workplace fund raising campaign. Encourage employees to search our database of programs, pick ones they want to fund, and designate them for their weekly payroll deduction contribution.

Another way would be for faith groups in affluent areas to designate 10% of what they collect each week into a fund that provides operating dollars to tutor/mentor programs in high poverty areas.

I'm sure there are other strategies that would be just as good. I hope that people reading Ms. Mitchell's column today will put some time into thinking of ways they can help provide the money.

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