Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Building Support for Tutor/Mentor Programs in Different Neighborhoods

A couple of weeks ago I posted an  updated version of a report from 2013 showing the number of high poverty youth in each community area of Chicago.  Here's the link.

In this report I show different sections of Chicago with the number of high poverty youth age 6-17 who live in each area, and what percent that is of all youth in that area. With the new maps you can see changes from a few years ago (the blue boxes). This shows that in many areas there are less high poverty youth, and in some there are more.

My goal is that groups in each community area use this information, plus my database of Chicago non-school tutor/mentor programs (click here) to determine the following:

a) need for non-school tutor, mentor & learning programs in the area, based on indicators such as poverty, poorly performing schools, health disparities, violence, crime, etc.

b) availability of existing tutor/mentor programs in the area, based on age group served and type of program.  For instance, a program might exist that serves elementary school kids, but if there is no program in the area that serves these kids when they enter high school, this is a void that needs to be filled.   Or, there might be one or two programs, but they are difficult for kids in some parts of the area to reach, or they are too small to serve the  number of kids in the area who would benefit.

Between 2002 and 2008 I created an interactive search engine to help people determine this information. See it here. Unfortunately, I've not had help or resources to update this since 2013.

c) who are assets (businesses, faith groups, hospitals, colleges, etc) in the area who could help existing programs grow, or who could help new programs form in the area.  One section of the Tutor/Mentor Program Locator was intended to help people learn who some of the assets were in different parts of the city. This also is out of date, but it serves as a demonstration of what's needed to support this planning.

d) how well organized, experienced, effective are existing programs? What can be learned from programs in different places to help improve programs in other places?  I created this "shoppers guide" a few years ago to offer some ideas for what to look for on a program's web site.   The goal is not to penalize programs that may not be as well organized as others. It is to help every program, in every  neighborhood, be as good as they can be.

Vision for mentor-rich programs

With this information anyone can begin to tell stories about existing programs, or about the need for more programs. Anyone can begin to invite others to meet and talk about the need and what can be done to help programs grow in the area.

I've been using maps from the report in Twitter posts, to encourage youth organizations in different parts of Chicago to take a lead on this analysis and community building effort. Here's an example.

Today I've listened to a few of the live webcast of the 2018 Skoll World Forum, being held in the UK.  The theme is Power of Proximity.  Using maps you can take a systematic approach to learning who shares a community area with you and what types of youth programs may be needed to help kids in an area move more safely and successfully through school and into jobs, careers and adult lives.

Planning Cycle - click here
Using social media, traditional media, sermons, posts in church bulletins, company newsletters and old fashion door-to-door community organizing anyone can begin to bring a group of people and organizations together to talk about the need for non-school programs and ways to fill a neighborhood with enough needed programs and services to reach 25 to 50% or more of the k-12 youth in each community area.

While I focus on non-school tutor/mentor programs, this same process can be used to identify other needs for place based services or for the development of new businesses in an area.

Here's a link to the PDF. Feel free to create screen shots of pages in the report and use them in  your own Tweets, FB posts and organizing stories. 

Include @tutormentorteam in your Tweet and I'll re-Tweet your post and help you draw attention to it.

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