Sunday, November 14, 2021

Helping kids through school: How can we do this better?

This graphic is one I've used often to visualize the goal of helping kids from elementary or middle school through high school and into adult lives through support provided by organized, volunteer-based tutor and/or mentor programs located in all high poverty areas of Chicago and other cities.

For this to happen volunteers need to go beyond being one-on-one and/or group tutors and mentors. They need to help build capacity and get other volunteers involved.

I wrote this article a few years ago to show how volunteers who are well-supported in a tutor/mentor program often grow into leaders. 

Below is a version of the featured graphic from that blog article, using Thinglink to focus on the four elements of the graphic.

I first created this graphic for a 2009 article. Than an intern from the University of Michigan, working with a public interest program fellow from Northwestern, created an animation to share this information. That can be seen in this video.

In addition, the Service Learning Loop animation was updated by an intern from South Korea who was part of a program with IIT in Chicago.

You can see the animation in this video.

All three of these graphics and videos are intended to show youth program leaders the importance of recruiting volunteers from many different backgrounds then providing on-going support, training and learning opportunities, so that many stay involved for multiple years and some become leaders and capacity-builders.

I've been posting articles on this blog since 2005 and on this web page since 1998 and in printed newsletters from 1993 to 2003.  From 2006 to 2015 interns from various colleges, including from South Korea, China and  Hong Kong, were encouraged to review these strategy ideas and then create their own interpretations. The two shown above are examples.  See many more at this page.

All of these focus on the "how can we do this better" idea shown in the visualization shown below:

This graphic includes the birth-to-work message, a poverty map, and a leaders wanted message. Leaders are needed in every program, in every high poverty neighborhood, in Chicago and every other big city, to help kids living in concentrated poverty move more safely through school and into jobs.

Here's another article showing the expanded role volunteers need to take to help kids in poverty move through school.   There are many more like this on this blog.

Please read and share them. Create your own versions.

The work interns did for me in the past should be an example and inspiration for youth and leaders in any school or non-school program to create and share their own interpretations of these ideas.  I hope as you head into this holiday season you'll look at these ideas and make a commitment in 2022 and beyond to share them with others.

No comments: