Sunday, June 17, 2007

Tutoring, Mentoring in Media

I'm not sure what has caused this, but the SunTimes and Tribune have been writing stories about tutor/mentor programs recently. I listed a few of these in a discussion I started in the T/MC forum.

While these stories focus on single programs, I feel that Chicago and other cities need to talk about how to make programs like these available in more of the neighborhoods where they are needed, based on high poverty, poorly performing schools, or incidents of youth-on-youth violence.

I think that there's another conversation that these stories can stimulate, which is a comparison of No Child Left Behind Supplemental Tutoring, and long-term tutoring/mentoring offered by programs such as those which have been featured in the media. If you view the links in the Chicago Programs Links section of the T/MC web site, you'll see additonal programs that offer comprehensive, mentor-rich services.

You'll also see that there are very few of these comprehensive programs in the South part of Chicago, and in the South and West and North Suburbs. In reality, there are too few comprehensive, long-term programs in most high poverty areas of Chicago, and probably any other major city.

That's why we need to stimulate a discussion in which teams of leaders from business, colleges, hospitals, churches, and civic and social organizations, are looking at the same information we're looking at, and doing the same type of brainstorming and innovation, with the same goal of making more and better tutor/mentor programs available to more kids who need this help.

If you are part of such a team, I encourage you to use the resources at for your deliberations and invite leaders of tutor/mentor programs to be part of your team.

The work we do in June and July can lead to more and better tutor/mentor programs reaching kids as school starts in September.

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