Saturday, October 10, 2020

Get to know Chicago area youth tutor, mentor and learning programs

 Below are a few images I pulled from Facebook posts this week, shared by volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs operating in Chicago.

Cluster Tutoring

Next is Inspired Youth

Next is Metro Achievement Center, part of the Midtown Educational Foundation

Next is Chicago Lights

These are just a few of the more than 100 Chicago area  non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs that I host on this list, which I've been maintaining since 1993 in an effort to connect "people who can help" to programs in areas of the city and suburbs where k-12 kids need more help moving through school and into jobs and careers.  Take a look at the graphic below.

I fill the blue box in the middle with information like my list of programs, and with a library of information showing why they are needed and where they are needed most, as well as challenges that keep cities from  having great programs in every zip code.  By sharing this list on social media and this blog, I'm also attempting to draw resources and attention directly to the websites and social media posts of each individual program, without a middle man filtering who gets help, or asking for grant proposals to narrow who gets funded.

I use maps and data to show where help is most needed and to show assets (banks, hospitals, universities, faith groups, etc) located in different areas, who could be doing more to help programs grow. 

EVERY program needs to be funded, because they all need to be great.

While anyone can open and scroll through my list and then open websites of individual programs to learn what they do and where they operate (if this information is being provided, which is not always true), I've been trying to help people find programs more easily on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

Below is a screen shot from the list of Chicago area programs that I host on Twitter. 

A few years ago I created a similar list showing Facebook pages of more than 100 programs. I kept it in the NOTES section of my FB page, an pointed to it often.  Last week I learned that FB was no longer hosting, so I rebuilt the list on my Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site. You can view part of it below. If you want to see posts from the organizations I featured above, visit the list and find their name and link.

My efforts to draw visibility to this list of youth serving organizations only works when those organizations are keeping their websites updated, using blogs to show why they are needed, what they are doing to help kids, and success stories, and posting regular stories to Facebook and Twitter.  In this post I share some ideas of what I wish were on every program's website. 

Sadly, only a few use Twitter regularly. More use Facebook.  So far I've not built a list of Linkedin and/or Instagram sites. That would be a great project for a group of students.

Here's the deal. Except for Twitter, you still need to scroll through my list of links and open pages one-by-one to see what programs are showing.  On Twitter, if you open my list you can scroll through it and see any post offered, going as far back on the list as you want to go.  I visit it every day and then give attention to those sharing information with a 'like' or a 'reTweet'.

During the current Covid19 pandemic, the US Elections, and the climate disasters it's more difficult than ever for youth serving organizations to attract attention and talent.  Thus, their ability to help kids who need extra help is limited.

You can help change that. View the lists. Get to know individual programs. Share links to these programs in your own network. Volunteer time when you can, to be a virtual tutor or mentor, or to help build a programs infrastructure. Or to posts social media posts for them.  Encourage others to do the same.

Find time to do this every day.

Not in Chicago?  Does your city have someone doing exactly what I've been doing for the past 27 years? If not, build a team, spend time learning what I've been doing, then duplicate it, doing even better than I have. There should be a Tutor/Mentor Connection type strategy in every urban area where there are high concentrations of poverty. 

See the above map in this article on the Mappingforjustice blog. 

Do you find this useful? If yes, please consider a small contribution to help fund the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC. Visit this page and use the PayPal button. 

No comments: