Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New School Year. New Role. Same Goals.

This is the first time in 37 years that I've not led a tutor/mentor program and been organizing student and volunteer orientations this week. As I've written in these articles I'm no longer directly involved in leading the Cabrini Connections program. Yet this week and next week they and almost every other tutor/mentor program in the country will be going through the annual ritual of interviewing and screening students and volunteers, organizing orientations, and doing the initial matches and start up activities that launch the new school year.

Through the Tutor/Mentor Connection, which was formed in 1993, I've tried to help these programs get volunteers and operating dollars. I've tried to help them find and use information they can use for training and supporting volunteers. I've aggregated information the students and volunteers can use in their own weekly activities.

I've created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC to provide some structure to continue this work. Read the blog articles I've written in the past month and in past years and you'll see that my commitment to helping inner city youth from birth to work has not changed, just my financial resources and ability to support this effort.

If you're reading this article please keep this visual image in mind. Every tutor/mentor program in your community needs the same resources. Not everyone can be a one-on-one or group tutor or mentor. However there are many ways everyone in the entire metropolitan area can help build visibility for these programs, provide infrastructure support, and provide the operating dollars each program needs to build and sustain strong on-going programs.

Visit the Program Locator and use the maps or search screen to find information about tutoring and/or mentoring programs in the Chicago region. Research the programs. Learn what they do. Make a commitment to help one or many.

If you find out of date information or if you know of programs not in the directory email me at tutormentor2@earthlink.net to help me keep the information updated. If you're a tech person/company become my partner and help me develop and maintain these tools. If you want recognition become a sponsor and help me hire staff to do this work.

I'm not leading a single tutor/mentor program as we start this new year. I am continuing to lead a strategy intended to help high-quality and constantly improving tutor/mentor programs reach youth in more high poverty areas.

I need your help. So do each tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and in other cities.

Good luck to all of you as you launch this new school year.

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