Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Repeat after me! Try it!

I've been digitizing 30 years of files from the Cabrini Connections tutor/mentor program and the Tutor/Mentor Connection, which I and six other volunteers created in November 1992, and launched in January 1993.  

Since this was a two-part strategy I created two versions of the print newsletters we sent from 1993 to 2003. One focused on our own Kids' Connection tutor/mentor program, serving teens in the Cabrini-Green area of Chicago. We called that NEWSLINK.  The other focused on what we were doing to help all programs grow, including our own. We called that T/MC REPORT.

As I've digitized these I once again was reminded of my on-going effort to recruit others to deliver the exact same messages, through their own newsletters and media. 

Below are some pages from a few issues of the NEWSLINK newsletter.  You can click on the image to enlarge and read the text.  Or you can open the link and look at the entire issue, including the page I'm sharing.

Winter 1996 NEWSLINK - open PDF

In the "President's Message" I wrote, "Chicago won't change the bleak prospects for these children, and Chicago's future, unless it provides a comprehensive range of "birth-to-work" programs that reaches ALL of these kids --- in school, and after school --- and in every neighborhood, not just Cabrini-Green."

The rest of the information on this page shows the "1995 Kids' Connection action plan". 

Spring 1997 NEWSLINK - open PDF

I wrote this in the months before the 1997 Presidents' Summit for America's Future, which drew leaders from every state and was chaired by five living Presidents of the United States.  

In it I wrote, "Wouldn't it be  nice if all of these companies making pledges would look at a list of programs already operating in the communities where they do business, devoting just a percent of their new commitments to programs already operating.  Not just the big well-known programs, but the programs that are grass-roots efforts, operating in churches, social service centers, at business sites and libraries.  Think of how important these helping hands could be to the success of students we are already working with."

The rest of this page has messages from high school seniors who had been with our tutor/mentor program since it was launched in January 1993.  I'm still connected to them via social media.

Jan-Feb 1998 NEWSLINK - open PDF

The heading was "DUPLICATE WHAT WORKS".  The subhead was "What will it take for youth groups in every neighborhood to look like the Quantum Opportunities Program (QOP)? How can businesses, foundations and communities help?

Open the PDF and read the suggestions I offered, then read more about the Kids Connection program. See the page with notes about alumni. See how we include information about the Tutor/Mentor Connection. 

Feb - Mar 1999 NEWSLINK - open PDF

Under the two maps I wrote "No general has ever won a war without a good map, and better "intelligence" than his opponent.  Yet in America's effort to help at-risk kids move from poverty to careers, few leaders are using this powerful tool."  

Open the PDF and read about Kids' Connection activities, our 3rd Annual Film Festival,  use of technology, and more.  

Feb - Mar 2001 NEWSLINK - open PDF

I've included two pages from this issue. The first is the back page of the newsletter, with a heading of "Where there is suffering, there is duty." This was followed by "With these words, President George W. Bush launched his leadership of this great country.  Over the next four years we'll learn if these were just good sound bites, or if there is a sound strategy and commitment behind them."

Then I wrote, "We cannot wait to find out. We each have a leadership role to play."

The second page continues this article and on the bottom page uses a network-building graphic that I've used over and over in past newsletters.   Above the graphic I wrote, "OUR GOAL is to recruit leaders who will use their own "bully pulpit" to focus on-going attention to tutoring, mentoring and school-to-work learning programs in every poverty neighborhood and to Internet-based information models which these programs can, and should, use to constantly improve the outcome of their work.

In the rest of this issue you can read about the Kids' Connection first annual reunion, our Black History exploration, the annual video festival and more.  

Read more 1993-2001 issues of NEWSLINK - open this folder.  Then open this folder and see copies o the T/MC REPORT newsletters.  As you look at these remember, the funding was raised by the people who were also raising funds to operate our single Kids' Connection tutor/mentor program. 

In most of my newsletters I've encouraged others to read and share my messages.  I want to dig a little deeper into this.

First, these show ideas I was sharing more than 20 years ago!  If you read past blog article you'll see I'm still sharing them. 

Second, very few people actually received these newsletters. In 1993 our distribution was 400 people. By 2001 it was about 12,000.  That's still just a whisper in a crowded city.  That means if you are reading this now, you're seeing information that is "NEW TO YOU".

If you share the messages in the newsletters, it will be NEW TO YOUR NETWORK AND COMMUNITY!

I want you to create your own blog, podcast, videos, PDF presentations, newsletters and websites where you literally repost my articles, with your own introduction and call-to-action.

If you're a former student you could start by saying, "I'm (name). I was part of the tutor/mentor program from (years). It made a big difference in my life. That's why I'm going to be sharing these messages.

Then use the text from what ever article you're looking at and post it in your blog, podcast, video, etc. with links to the www.tutormentorexchange.net website and blog. 

If enough people do this, over-and-over, for the next 20 years, there will be more programs helping kids through school and into lives free of poverty, in Chicago, and in other parts of the USA and the world, AND MORE VOLUNTEERS AND DONORS REACHING OUT TO HELP THOSE PROGRAMS. If someone aggregates links to these stories, the collection will serve as inspiration for even more people to do the same.

Imagine a concept map like the one below, with links in each node to people who are sharing stories like this - open map

This shows key talents needed to build a tutor/mentor program. If people from these professions are sharing stories, they are recruiting people like themselves to get involved.  A version of this could be created for every city in the world!  Doing so would be one step closer to getting these people to connect, share ideas, and work to reach more people and help more kids. 

Doing this over-and-over is the essential commitment. In advertising we understand that it takes multiple impressions just to get a potential customer's attention. Then even more, to motivate him/her to consider buying our offer.  

To help kids from first grade through high school a program needs to be able to stay in business for 12 years!  No program starts great. They grow to be great, over a period of years, and with a constant investment of ideas, talent and operating dollars.

Instead of this being dependent on one person, it will be the vision of many.  Furthermore, over time you will no longer need to repost my articles. You will be creating your own!

Read the "a New T/MC' articles to learn more about my search for new leaders to re-energize the Tutor/Mentor Connection and help versions of it grow in every city with pockets of persistent poverty.

Thanks for reading.  Please connect with me on social media (see links here).  

If you're able, consider a contribution to help me pay the bills. Visit this page

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