Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Networking with T/MC

We held our last Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference in May. Now we're looking for space, and sponsors, to do the next one in November.

We've offered this conference every six months since May 1994, to help leaders connect and share ideas, and to build visibility that draws volunteers and donors to all of the tutor/mentor programs who attend the conference, or that are on our Chicago Program Locator. I was honored to receive an award from the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteering and Service, presented by Ted Gibbs and Fred Rodriguez. I was a commission member from 2001-2009.

One workshop was presented by Darrell Finch, with the Milwaukee Housing Authority. He sent his presentation last week and it's now on the conference agenda page.

Leaders of many different tutor/mentor programs in Chicago volunteer their own time to present workshops and sit on panels. They are active participants in the networking, not just people whocome for an hour, give their ideas, then leave. Here is a slide show with photos of many others from the May conference.

While the next conference is in November, what we're all focused on right now is getting our programs started for the 2010-11 school year, and recruiting students, volunteers and donors. This graphic illustrates the four key times each year, when T/MC tries to call attention to tutor/mentor programs, and help them attract needed resources at the same time. This flash presentation outlines this strategy.

If you're reading this, I hope you'll pass it on to people you work with, study with, or socialize with. Encourage them to be a volunteer, or to pick one of the programs on our list and make a donation. Look at the Tutor/Mentor Jam Concert that we're holding on August 29. Maybe you can attend. Maybe you can help us find donors.

Or maybe, you just invite some people into a conference room, show this, and say "what does this mean to you, or to our organization?"

If you keep doing this throughout the coming year you'll begin to build your own understanding, and find more and more ways where you can help tutor/mentor programs help kids.

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