Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sharing the Good News - Tutor/Mentor Blogs

In one of the workshops at the May Tutor/Mentor Conference, media reps were criticized for mostly telling stories of bad news, and not enough of the good things kids are doing in neighborhoods.

One suggestion was that on media web sites, links could point to sites like the Chicago Program Links, which host nearly 200 web sites of youth organizations in Chicago. I was contacted by Tracy Schwartz of Red Eye this week, who was following up on that ideas. I hope it happens.

However, unless tutor/mentor programs are using blogs, or some other media, to tell of the work that is taking place in their organizations, this strategy won't have the intended benefit.

At Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection, we encourage all of our staff and interns to write blogs. Last week we had a lot of things happening, so here are links to the stories that were written.

Edgewood College visit - Karina Walker, our new Northwestern Public Interest Fellow wrote this.

Golf Benefit stories written by Willow Yang Liuqing and Jenny Liu Chong, our interns from China,

One year reflection
- Bradley Troast, our 2009-10 NU PIP fellow, summarized what he has learned from one year

Follow up to golf benefit
- El Nix wrote this story

These stories change each week, based on what is happening at Cabrini Connections, and what is happening in the world. Each writer has a different perspective, and a different network of friends, family and alumni who will read these stories and pass them on to others, expanding the network of people who support Cabrini Connections even when the media don't point at our work.

If other tutor/mentor programs learn to tell their own stories this way, we all are building more understanding of what happens in a tutor/mentor program, and why volunteers and donors should help us.

If Red Eye and other media point to the Chicago Program Links, readers who are motivated to do something because of bad news stories, will find plenty of reasons and places where they can help turn bad news in to more good news.


Chandra said...

Do your services extend to post secondary institutions? If so which entity within the college do you assist? I currently am the Coordinator of the tutoring center for our campus and wish to develop a program which would involve members of the community.

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

We work with colleges to engage their students, volunteers and alumni with community programs. In many cases, this could reverse with community volunteers, and students participating in a campus program.

Visit the links library at - and you'll see that we collect information that shows what is being done by other people. Thus, if a college or community organization were looking to start, or expand, a program, they would be able to look at what others have done, and innovate their own ideas from this.

I suggest you join the forum at where we might be able to exchange some ideas with you.