Monday, September 20, 2010

Waiting for Superman - join the discussion

The Waiting for Superman documentary hits theaters this week. Today a discussion is taking place on Oprah.

These discussions focus on fixing schools. My goal is to add another level to this discussion, where we talk about what we can do in the non-school hours, in high poverty neighborhoods, to help kids expand their aspirations, expand the network of adults who are helping them through school and into jobs, and help more adults become personally connected in the lives of kids in poverty.

This means that we need to focus on schools, and non-school learning centers, and focus volunteers and donors on both tiers. It means we also need to think of the non-school hours in two time frames. One is right after school until parents come home from work. A second is after five and into the early evening when workplace volunteers might be able to spend a couple hours a week in a tutor/mentor center working with kids in poverty neighborhoods.

I have not found a place on the Internet where a discussion of non-school tutor/mentor programs is taking place, and where donors and business leaders are involved. That means, the Superman focus will be much narrower, and perhaps have less long-term impact.

You're welcome to join the Tutor/Mentor Connection on Ning to share your ideas, and learn from ours. Or, if you know of a place hosting the type of ideas we talk about on this blog, just share the link, and we'll join you there.

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