Thursday, March 27, 2014

Building Network to Solve Complex Problems

This graphic illustrates the need for youth to be surrounded by a wide range of age appropriate learning resources as the move from elementary school toward jobs and careers. Depending on the level of economic security a youth needs more of these because they are not naturally available in the community. I view volunteer tutors/mentors who connect with kids via organize tutor/mentor programs as "extra adults" who can help youth and families have greater access to some of these supports.

If you agree with that logic, then the next step would be to become part of efforts that help more volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs be available, so more kids are reached and more volunteers get involved.

I've written many articles trying to show the long term involvement needed by many people, in many places, to help tutor/mentor programs grow in high poverty neighborhoods, and become great at what they do. It's only when the begin to be "great" that the kids entering those programs have the best chance to benefit from the services they offer. If an organization can't keep it's talent, because it can't keep its funding, it's not likely to become great, or stay great.

I constantly hear people say we "want something to happen" but few share a map showing how they think we'll get from where we are now, with only a few people talking about the problem (or a lot of people talking about it, but in different silos), to where we want to be after a period of consistent effort.

I really appreciate it when other people help share these ideas via their own blogs. Today Betsey Merkel posted this graphic on the I-Open Blog. Betsey's in Ohio and hopefully leaders from Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and/or Toledo will see this and want to adopt the ideas in their own cities. If they do this well, and share what they do, perhaps that will influence how leaders in Chicago and other cities also view the ideas.

No comments: