Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Research shows connection of violence, academic performance

Thanks to Phil Jackson and The Black Star Project for sharing this story via their email newsletter. This study, By Deborah L. Shelton, Chicago Tribune reporter, "says academic performance suffers whether they witness the nearby violence or not" Read the full article.

One of the speakers at the May 27 and 28 conference was Deanna Wilkerson, a professor at Ohio State University, and an expert on urban violence and its impact on youth. You can find her presentation, along with those of other speakers on the conference web site. You can connect directly with her in the Tutor/Mentor Connection on-line forum.

Volunteers, in well-organized tutoring/mentoring programs, can provide a range of mentoring, coaching, tutoring and social/emotional support to help youth overcome the impact of violence in their lives, if the programs are available, and if the programs have the consistent funding to be as strong as they need to be, and to stay that way for many years.

So, if you want to do something to help kids living in inner city war zones, pick one of the programs listed on this list of Chicago Program web sites, or Cabrini Connections, and send a donation today.

If you want to know what a "well organized program looks like" browse the web sites we point to, and compare them to each other. Some do a great job of showing what they do. Others make it difficult for you to know they have a mentoring program. Look at when they were formed. The longer they've been hosting a tutor/mentor program (not how long the agency has been in business), the more likely that the program is well organized (or it would not have lasted so long!).

Some use graphics to show their strategy, such as this page on the BUILD web site and this page on the Breakthrough Urban Ministries site.

Cabrini Connections shows its Success Strategy on its home page, and shows many of the other ideas we apply, on the Tutor/Mentor Institute site.

Don't penalize programs that don't look as good as other programs. Use the ideas from all of the web sites we point to, to help each program become a world-class organization. They all need to be great, because they are all serving different kids in different parts of the city. You can see this distribution using the interactive tutor/mentor program locator.

This information was provided by the Tutor/Mentor Connection, a part of the Cabrini Connections non-profit organization. There are hundreds of questions that could be asked about the tutor/mentor programs in Chicago, based on the database we maintain, but we barely have enough money to keep the database current and share the information on web sites.

If you want to help tutor/mentor programs grow in all poverty neighborhoods, and where violence is influencing student aspirations and learning, then provide dollars to the Tutor/Mentor Connection, as well as to individual programs.

No comments: