Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Help youth tutor, mentor & learning programs grow in Chicago Area

Connect w youth in
organized tutor and/or mentor programs
At the February 24, 2020 Chicago Forward event  hosted by the Chicago Tribune, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other panelists talked about the important role organized tutor, mentor and learning programs can  have in the lives of urban youth.

You can find contact information for nearly 200 Chicago area youth serving programs by browsing the Chicago Program Links list that I've been maintaining since 1993. 

You can also use the map, shown below, to determine what groups operate in different parts of Chicago...or near where you live, work, or along the route you travel as you do to and from work every day.  The program links list is also organized by sections of the city and suburbs, for the same purpose.

This map can also be seen here.

If  you click on an icon you can find the organization's name and their web site. Copy and paste the web address into your browser and you can learn more about the program, depending on how well the web site communicates the program purpose, history and design. Below is a JPG showing what the map looks like when open opened.

Each green icon on the map is the location of a Chicago youth serving program

Some of the locations on this map are headquarters sites of organizations that offer community based mentoring (mentors meet with kids at different places), or are organizations with many different sites where they offer services. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago and Working in the Schools (WITS) are two who fit these descriptions. You'd need to go to their web sites to see their lists showing locations where they are active.

You can also find links to Chicago area programs at
*  Facebook pages list - click here
*  Twitter list - click here
*  Instagram list - click here

enlarge the map

This information can also be a starting point for others to get to know these organizations better, to help each of them attract needed resources, and to help share ideas across different programs so all will improve. You can enlarge the map then click on the icons to learn about programs in different areas. 

Browse articles I've written since 2005 to see how maps can be used in stories written by many people to help draw attention and resources to tutor/mentor programs in different areas, or to help new programs form where more are needed. Click maps, media, violence for lists of stories. 

The map shown above replaces an interactive Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator (view archive version here and here) developed by the Tutor/Mentor Connection between 2004 and 2009. Since 2013 I've not had funds or technology support to update the site and in August 2018 the link to Google maps stopped working.

Since 1993 the Tutor/Mentor Connection has been maintaining these lists and an extensive library of information that shows where these programs are most needed, and why, and provides resource people can use to build and sustain programs in every high-poverty area of Chicago In 2011 the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC was created to continue this service.

This is work that really should be done at universities, where there is a constant stream of student brainpower to do what I've been doing by myself and with the help of a small staff and many volunteers.

I've tried to get this help In fact, I've been reaching out to universities for more than 30 years.  

Take a look at this presentation and see the many universities I've connected with and the work students have done in short-term internships and fellowships.  There are over 60 pages!  And many links to documents that show interactions with students and faculty.  Take your time to look at it.

Then share it with people like MacKenzie Scott, who has been giving millions of dollars to non-profit organizations.  Show how funding a Tutor/Mentor Connection-type program for 10 to 20 consecutive years on a university campus could leverage the donations being made and create a much greater, sustained, comprehensive, impact.

If donors provide the money, universities will establish programs, and my 30 year history of trying to support volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs and help kids in high poverty areas from birth-to-work will become a valuable resource.

That would lead to new, updated, map-based directories in Chicago and other cities, that are part of efforts to draw consistent operating dollars to programs in every high poverty area, which will help programs hire and retain staff, keep them operating longer, and have a greater impact on the lives of kids and families.

In this section and this section of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Planning Wiki you can read the history, goals and current status, for building a map-based tutor/mentor program database.  Such a platform can be applied in any city to support the growth of needed services in all high poverty areas, thus volunteers, partners and financial support can come from any place to help this work become a reality.

Until that happens, I still will depend on contributions to maintain this list of programs, the Tutor/Mentor Connection web library, my blogs, etc.

Please make a contribution so I can keep this information freely available to all.  Visit this page to find an address and a PayPal button.

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