Thursday, August 15, 2019

Connecting Leaders of Youth Tutor / Mentor Programs

For the past 25 years I've made efforts to identify volunteer-based youth tutor, mentor and learning programs operating in different parts of the Chicago region. At this link you can find my list and a map that shows locations of nearly 200 organizations.

The graphic below is an example of how I share that information and how I've been trying to encourage on-line engagement and collaboration, based on the Connected Learning (CLMOOC) group that I interact with on Twitter, Facebook and formerly on the Google+ platform. .


I hosted Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences every six months from 1994 to 2015 in an on-going effort to draw stakeholders from different programs together to share ideas, identify challenges, and help each program constantly improve.

While I've tried to draw people to event's I've attended, I've also made an effort to be part of events hosted by others. Below is a 2005 Tech Soup on-line event that I co-hosted.

Visit the TechSoup forum - this conversation is still available!
I was really pleased to be able to do a Google search for "Tech Soup Bassill" and find conversations held in 2005.  I had summarized these on this blog, with April 2005 articles that you can find here. If you scroll back from that article you'll find four posts from the week of April 18, 2005 in which I talk about what was taking place on the Tech Soup Forum.

I'm still writing about the same issues today as I was then.

I used the graphic at the right in this December 2016 article.  The dark red areas of the map are high poverty areas where mentor-rich programs are most needed. The oil wells represent  programs that connect with youth when they are in elementary or middle school, then stay connected all the way through high school and beyond. There are too few of such programs operating in Chicago.

click to enlarge
This graphic represents the teams of people who need to be working to help each individual programs grow, while it also represents teams who need to be working to fill every high poverty community area with well-organized, and well-funded, programs.

Such teams are also needed at the city level.

I can't find them.  At least I can't find them on Twitter, Linkedin, or Facebook.

Or, I can't find any that are using concept maps like the one below to show all the things that need to be considered in building and sustaining needed youth supports in multiple areas.

Open map - click here

I started joining on-line conversations in the late 1990s and by 2004 I was committed to trying to build an on-line conference to parallel the Chicago conferences we were hosting.  Below is a screen shot of a page on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site that shows on-line learning goals.

Visit this page - click here
Here are the eLearning goals that I outlined in 2004 and have updated since then:

a) convergence - tutoring, mentoring, education-to-careers, youth development, etc. mean different things to different people, depending on the economic and social isolation of the people being served. Social workers, businesses, educators, prevention, etc. each look at solutions differently, or fund different programs. Yet they are all part of the actions needed to help individual kids move from poverty to careers. Workshops under this theme are intended to draw people from different strands of service into collaborations that deliver multiple services from central sites in neighborhoods where such services are needed. A power point that illustrates this concept can be found at Creating a Learning & Collaboration Network

b) out of the box learning - while many efforts are aimed at improving what happens at schools during the school day, the conference focuses on increasing the variety of tutoring, mentoring and learning opportunities that are available in every poverty area and near every poorly performing school during non-school hours, on weekends and in the summer. Workshops in this category demonstrate the many different types of learning and mentoring opportunities that are working in some parts of the world which could be working in many other places. Links in the T/MC web library can help you learn more about the types of innovation and collaboration we seek to encourage within the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

c) eLearning and Collaboration - The T/MC believes that the Internet offers the only hope of gathering millions of people in on-going learning, networking and collaboration that is essential to make more and better tutoring/mentoring and learning opportunities available in all places where they are needed. Workshops in this category will demonstrate the many ways the Internet can be used to distribute knowledge, build collaboration, and help youth and leaders find resources to help them achieve any goal. The following power point illustrates this goal:
eLearning and Collaboration

d) Leadership Development - workshops in this topic area focus on developing leaders for volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs all over the world. By connecting people who operate such programs with researchers, educators and business leaders, we seek to connect knowledge and partners in a process that leads to a formal education program at one or more universities in the world. Such a program will teach people to use the Internet effectively to learn from each other, to learn to collaborate, and to learn ways to build and sustain effective, volunteer-based tutoring and mentoring-to-career programs where ever they are needed. The goal is to train leaders who will be volunteers, as well as leaders who become the staff and directors of programs. If we can grow a network of business, foundation and public leaders who use their visibility and resources to support the growth of tutor/mentor programs, we can dramatically improve the availability and impact of these programs. Read Role of Leaders.

e) Sustainability - The first four goals lead to this fifth goal. The discussion focuses on innovating ways to distribute needed resources (volunteers, dollars, technology, leaders, etc.) on a continuous and flexible basis to all places where kids need extra help that tutor/mentor programs can provide. Workshops that share innovative sustainability strategies from one part of the country with other parts of the country are most welcome. Read about T/MC Use of GIS Maps to Create a Better Distribution of Resources throughout a large City


Summary: If we can build a growing network of people and organizations who will communicate and share ideas on a regular basis, we can focus a more consistent attention on all parts of the world where help is needed, and hopefully, stabilize the flow of resources, so that programs in multiple locations can grow from good to great, and then stay great for many years. In this type of vision there are funds for on-going operations of needed social benefit organizations, and their are emergency funds to provide relief when a tragedy hits some place in the world and where massive amounts of support are needed. This concept map shows how Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC is trying to build this growing network and where help is needed.


The fund raising challenges of 2000-2011 and since then have limited my ability to build this type of on-line learning community.  Social media has made it easier to connect, but has also led to greater fragmentation, meaning getting hundreds of stakeholders into one on-going conversation, is almost impossible---especially if you're without the financial resources or celebrity visibility that might attract more people.

Yet I keep sharing these ideas with the goal that someone will do the Google search needed to find this blog and my web sites and will begin to read and understand the ideas.  Below is a Tweet posted yesterday by Terry Elliott of the #clmooc group.


If enough people do this I'm hoping someone with greater resources will reach out and offer to help.

If you've read this far, maybe you'll consider a contribution to help me fund this work. Click here to learn more. 

2 comments:

Atul said...

Hey Nice Blog!!! Thank you for sharing information. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, waiting for a more new post. Keep Blogging!! Here some of my blogs can you read, please.

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Tutor Mentor Connections said...

Over the past 20 years volunteers and student interns from India have contributed greatly to the success of the Tutor/Mentor Connection. That's one reason I've approved this post.

I visited the links above and they all point me to the same page. Unfortunately I could not find a "translate" button, so can not easily read the articles.