Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Becoming Great. Learn from Others.

In 1975 when I first began leading the volunteer-based tutor/mentor program at the Montgomery Ward headquarters in Chicago, an officer said to me "You don't know much about this. Why don't you find other programs in Chicago and invite them to lunch. See what you can learn from them."

I've been doing this network-building and learning for the past 35 years. It's the reason I'm still in this work. It is advise I share with anyone else starting, or leading, a tutor/mentor program.

One of the keynote speakers of the last Tutor/Mentor Conference, was Catherine Gottfred, Founder, LEAP Learning Systems I've known her for almost 20 years, since she began her work with the Chicago Youth Center in Cabrini Green. Catherine talked about "Youth Brain Development and Literacy"

Michael Levesque, Executive Director, Leap Learning Systems, did a workshop titled "Race, Language, and the Achievement Gap in America". Here's the PDF of Michael's presentation.

What's great to see at these conferences, is the networking of speakers and participants, after each workshop, and during the lunch session. You can find more pictures, more of the workshop presentation PDFs, and a list of attendees on the conference web site.

This conference, and the Tutor/Mentor Connection, have been made possible since 1994 because the leaders of one small non profit have raised the money to cover the costs, while operating their own Cabrini Connections program. This has become more and more difficult with the deepening recession. We need your help.

You can make donations to support the Tutor/Mentor Connection and the Conference at this link. And, you can become a sponsor of the conferences, at this link. Please help us continue to do what we do to help hundreds of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs learn from each other, so they can do more to help kids living in poverty.

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