Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sharing what is learned - transforming others

Karina Walker, our 2010-11 Fellow from Northwestern, used this graphic in a blog article she wrote today, showing how volunteers who get involved in tutoring/mentoring begin to show others why, and how, to get involved as they learn more themselves.

I wrote a blog article a while back showing how volunteer commitment grows the longer they are involved. Li Li, an intern from the university of Michigan, converted that into a flash animation.

I met with Bill Curry of Breakthrough Urban Ministries today, and we talked about how volunteers in many programs could be consistently sharing their experiences with peers, and helping their companies get involved. This is similar to the Sunday School Teacher who leads a group discussion of the scripture that was part of that week's service.

I showed him a strategy that faith leaders in thousands of locations could use, to educate more people about what a tutor/mentor program might do to help kids if there were a more consistent flow of needed resources.

We talked of how programs working together might increase the size of the funding pie available, rather than constantly competing for shrinking resources.

We're holding a Tutor/Mentor Jam Concert on August 29. This is the 15th year we've organized events in August to draw volunteers to all of the tutor/mentor programs in Chicago. Our aim is to help volunteers from many businesses and faith groups join different programs, then help those volunteers find information that helps them become effective mentors.

As that happens, our goal is to recruit one, or two, to become coaches within their own companies, learning more about tutoring/mentoring over a period of months and years, and constantly sharing this so more people begin to get involved as volunteers, leaders, donors and advocates.

If volunteers from every industry are learning where and how they can use their time, talent and dollars to help tutor/mentor programs connect with inner city kids, then each program will have multiple sources of funding, and a much broader diversity of volunteers to mentor their kids.

All this takes is for one, or two, people to begin learning about the resources on the T/MC web sites, and sharing this via blogs and networking, with their peers. If you join the Tutor/Mentor Ning group we can even coach you in the process.

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