Monday, February 08, 2016

Is this your Tutor/Mentor Org Planning Process? Does it Involve Youth?

I included the graphic below in an article I posted on January 22

Most of my blog articles include maps and visualizations that focus attention on strategies that make comprehensive programs available in more places.  Do a Google search for "tutor mentor" then look at the images. You'll see a wide range of graphics included in articles written since 2005.

Many of these ideas are communicated using a free cMap tool, or concept map.   You can see this map here.  From left to right what the map is showing is a place-based planning process that starts with creating maps that define the area a group is focusing on, which could be as small as a few blocks. Then add indicators to the map, such as poverty, crime, health disparities, violence, etc. which are all indicators showing a need for a wide range of school, and non-school tutoring, mentoring, learning and jobs programs.  Next, engage youth, volunteers, staff and other stakeholders, including local business, hospital and university people, in a "learning process"

By this I mean that the group begins to look at web sites of other youth serving organizations, in Chicago, and around the world. Look at what types of activities they offer and what impact those have. Look at how they communicate their ideas on web sites, blogs and social media. As your group sees ideas that might be good additions to your own program, build a list, which could be a web library like mine.  In doing so, you archive your list of ideas, or "aspirations" so that you can refer to them in the future, and you can point others to those saying "this is what we need to be doing here".

Then begin to prioritize what you want to do in the coming year, and look for the talent and resources to implement the idea. Once it is launched measure participation and gather feedback so that at the end of the year your team can decide if it wants to continue the idea, how they might improve it, and what other ideas they want to add into the coming year.

This is a continuous cycle of process improvement. It's one that  has greater success if your resources providers, and local assets, are involved in the process with you. When you see a great idea you should not need to write a proposal. The resource provider should be looking at the same idea and saying "how much can I  help?"

See this process described in blog articles like this and this and in presentations like this.  

Encourage your youth and volunteers to create similar articles and presentations describing your own planning process.

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