Monday, September 14, 2020

Constant challenge: How can we do this better?

I'm a sports fan, so during baseball, basketball and football season I'm following stories about the Cubs, White Sox, Bulls and Bears, which all focus on a common theme: How can we do this better?

Each team is constantly trying to improve, to be great, and drawing on a vast range of resources in this effort.

Now let's apply this thinking to helping kids born or living in poverty areas of Chicago and other cities with pro sports teams.  Are there groups of people using graphics and maps like I use in my blogs, with the goal of helping constantly improving youth serving programs be available to k-12 youth in every high poverty neighborhood of each city?

The graphic above has many elements. Let me focus on two:

This arrow graphic can be seen in the upper left corner. It shows the 20 to 30 year long journey each child takes as they move from birth to work. 

Kids living in areas of concentrated poverty have too few people modeling the many careers kids might aspire to, or helping open kids move from one age group to another.

If you stand the graphic above vertically, it resembles an oil well, or a skyscraper. and emphasizes that the work done in the preschool and elementary school years is essential foundation work that propels kids through high school, college, vocational training and into jobs and careers.

Schools and youth serving programs need to be located in every high poverty neighborhoods, providing age appropriate support as kids move through school. Teams of adults from the community and the larger geographic region, including businesses, faith groups, hospitals and universities, need to be part of teams working to help individual programs grow, and helping many individual programs fill different neighborhoods.

All of the articles on this blog and the resources on the Tutor/Mentor Institute,  LLC web site are intended to support groups of people who are trying to figure out "How do we do this better?"

There are dozens of business, civic, government and philanthropic groups in Chicago and other cities looking for ways to help reduce poverty, violence, inequality while improving working conditions and preparing people for the workforce. 

The information I share can be used by any of them. I'm not sure most of them even know I exist.

As you watch pro sports today, I hope you'll spend some time thinking about this.  I'd like to be a coach and mentor to help you and your team dig through the massive playbook that my web resources represent. If you are part of some of these planning groups, or know people who are involved, please pass on an invitation and encourage them to read some of the articles I've posted.

Connect with me on any of these social media sites.

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