Tuesday, November 07, 2017

What Tutor and/or Mentor Programs Operate in Chicago Area?

Since 1993 I've led a small organization with a huge vision. I think every k-12 youth living in a high poverty neighborhood should have access to a well-organized, mentor-rich, non-school tutor, mentor and learning program. When I say access I mean it needs to be close enough that elementary school kids can walk there and safe enough that youth of all ages, and volunteers from different parts of the region, will participate weekly, for a year or longer.

I launched the first Tutor/Mentor Program Locator survey in 1994 and 120 organizations responded. Thanks to donated software and volunteer talent, I've been plotting that information on maps for the past 24 years, so that people could see which areas have programs and which still need more programs.

I never had much help to do this and since 2011 I've had no help. Thus, keeping the program list updated has been a challenge, and keeping the web sites updated and working properly has been an even greater challenge....which I'm currently losing.

However, you can help.  Below is a map I created in Jan 2016 to show programs in my web library. I updated it today to show the number of organizations I have in my web library, for each section of the city and suburbs. 

click here to see 2016 map and click on icons to see name of organization
I've divided the region into sections, and for each section I've shown the number of web sites that I have in this library on the Tutor/Mentor Connection site.

Thus, you can see that I have 13 web sites for Evanston and the North and Northwest suburbs. I have seven web sites for every area West of Chicago out to Elgin and Aurora.  I show 13 web sites in the South and Southwest suburbs and one (1) for NW Indiana.

In Chicago I show 23 web sites for the North part of the city, 46 for the middle, 29 for the South Central and 21 for the far South.

Some organizations are community based or have multiple locations, so I include them in a separate category. It includes 31 organizations.  Other organizations only offer services at schools, meaning youth who don't attend that school don't get those services. I show 27 organizations in that category.

There are at least 200,000 high poverty youth in Chicago who could benefit from organized tutor, mentor and learning programs and thousands more in the suburbs and Northern Indiana (where I only find one program).   There must be more.

I'm sure there are other organized non-school tutor and/or mentoring programs in the Chicago region. 

That's what I hope you will help me with.

Here's a map showing police districts in Chicago.  If you click on this article you'll see schools. If you click on this article you'll see libraries. And, if you click on this article you'll see maps of faith groups.

Volunteers from any of these groups could adopt a neighborhood of the city and suburbs and determine if there are any organized tutor/mentor programs in that area. If you find one, send me the link and I'll check it out and add it to my list.

Volunteers can also review sections of my web library and look at the web sites. If you see one that no longer is operating, or that I've placed in the wrong area, please send me an update.

Here's the survey I was using in the 1990s to collect this information.  You can see the level of detail I was looking for.  You don't need to fill this out, but it  might help you as you look at youth program web sites.

Here's another presentation that shows what I think volunteers, donors and parents should see on a program's web site. Many show some of this. Few show all of it.

As you learn about programs in your area help draw regular attention to them by talking about them on social media, or in company and faith group newsletters and blogs.

If we have better information on who is already operating we can do more to help each program become world class in how great it is at helping kids.  We can also provide better information that groups in other places can use to start new programs where too few exist.

I'm not able to do this by myself, but I don't think I'm the only person who cares about the well-being of youth in our region and the quality of life and future workforce. I think many can help me do this work.

Send updated to me at tutormentor2  at  earthlink dot net.

Now, if you have tech skills and want to help update the tutor/mentor program locator I could really use your help.  The map I created in 2016 does not sort by age group served, type of program or zip code and does not include overlays showing where programs are most needed (based on poverty or school performance).  The Program Locator has those features, but I've not been able to add info since 2013 and the census data is from the 2000 census.  I don't have the  money to hire help, and so far have not found volunteers who would help. 

If you're interested or would like to partner and/or sponsor this work, and help carry it into the future, please reach out via the email above.  

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