Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Planning for start of 2022-23 school year

It's only the end of March but if you lead a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program with a long-term commitment to helping kids in your program move from primary or middle school through high school and beyond, you need to be using the next two months to gather information about what worked, what did not work, and what works in other programs, so that as you finish your year-end celebrations in late May or early June, you have momentum taking your through summer planning and into volunteer and student recruitment starting in August 2022.

The graphic at the right under the "How can we do this better?" question has four elements.  At the left is a "mentoring kids to careers" graphic that conveys the same multi-year message as the graphic I show above.  At the right is a "leaders wanted" graphic, calling for leaders from every industry, sports, entertainment, philanthropy, education sector, etc., to help you get the ideas and resources needed to constantly improve your program.  

In the middle are photos of kids and volunteers who connect in these programs.  Every program will show a different collection of photos, based on who they serve.  The organization's website and blog (if they have one) should be showing these pictures and telling stories of what they do, who they serve, why they do it, what their successes are and what their challenges are.  This presentation show some of the types of information that should be seen on every website. 

In the lower left corner is a map of Chicago, shaded to show high poverty areas where tutor/mentor programs are most needed, with oil-well icons indicating the need for programs in every poverty area with long-term strategies.  While each program focuses primarily on their own needs, the Tutor/Mentor Connection (1993-2011) and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC (2011 present) focus on helping mentor-rich programs grow in ALL  high poverty area of Chicago and in other cities.

Good planning should lead to greater support for student and volunteer recruitment campaigns launched in the fall, that bring support to every program, so each can constantly move to becoming "world class" in what they do to help kids.  Read more about the annual planning cycle in this article

I've collected links to websites of Chicago and national youth tutor, mentor and learning programs since the mid 1990s with the goal that programs would share their strategies on their websites and blogs in ways that donors, parents, students and volunteers could "shop" and choose programs that best serve their needs. But also, so that programs could learn from each other and borrow ideas that help them constantly grow from "good to great". 

Not enough do this so one role of volunteers is to get to know programs and help them tell their stories. 

I've often said "You don't need to go to college to learn how to lead a constantly improving tutor/mentor program. You can use my library as a source of ideas and on-going learning. You just need to make time on a regular basis to dig through the different sections and read information you'll find on various websites and blogs."

The concept map above shows the "resources" section of the library. It includes information about fund raising, marketing, process improvement, evaluation, and more.  Share my blogs and web library with stakeholders within your organization and create a "learning organization" where everyone is engaged.  I've been writing about this since I started this blog. Here's a 2005 article

Thanks for reading and for everything you do to help well-organized  youth tutor, mentor and learning organizations reach K-12 youth in high poverty area of Chicago and beyond.

I'd love to see others writing similar blogs as mine and sharing these on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and other platforms. That's the only way we'll build the awareness and public will needed to do more of what needs to be done. 

This page shows my social media links. Please follow and connect with me. 

This page includes a PayPal button you can use to make a small contribution to help me keep doing this work. 

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