Thursday, June 27, 2024

Drawing from my archives

 I've spent time over the past months and years (since 2019) digitizing all of the paper files that I had accumulated in leading tutor/mentor programs since 1975 and the Tutor/Mentor Connection since 1993.  

Yesterday I found a document with comments I'd made in response to a blog exchange held in 2007 with Steve Habib Rose. I show that below and you can view the PDF at this link.

The yellow highlights were my comments to what Steve had written.

I did a search on this blog to see if I'd written about this and, sure enough, found this article from March 4, 2007.  It's titled "Connecting Networks". 

In the first paragraph I wrote "I encourage you to read what Habib Rose is writing about networking and how this relates to connecting volunteers and leaders of tutor/mentor programs to each other."

When I clicked on the link, I found that it was broken. So I went to the Internet Archive, and found the article at this link

Then I looked at the TAGs on his blog and found several posts under "Tutor/Mentor Connection".   One is shown below.

These posts remind me of who I was connecting with in past years and how I was trying to build a network of people who would work to help kids in high poverty areas connect with volunteer tutors and mentors and extra learning opportunities in organized, on-going non-school programs. 

Some people I'm able to look up on LinkedIn and re-connect with. Others, like Steve Habib Rose, are no longer with us.  In fact, Steve died suddenly shortly after this blog exchange.  It's a reminder of how difficult it is to create a movement and sustain it for decades.

About the same time as I was connecting with Steve Habib Rose one of my interns gave me a book, titled "The Starfish and the Spider".   I pointed to that on this page of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC website.

This book illustrates my role as a catalyst in building a decentralized network of leaders who support volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs.  My archives, this blog and my website are resources any one can use to draw people together, learn more about issues, see work others are doing, and innovate ways to help youth in their own community.

The final part of  "The Starfish and the Spider" talks about platforms, like eBey, which support millions of users.  If you go through my archives you'll see my efforts to create such platforms.  Most are now archives, except for my website library.  

Most are resources that you can find through your computer and the Internet, if you just make the time to look.

I've about eight boxes of paper files left to digitize, then a lot of organizing work to do. I hope to finish by this time next year.  I'll share some as I go, like I'm doing today. 

As you look at this, ask "Who will keep this resource available after Dan's no longer with us?"   I keep asking the same question.

Connect with me on social media channels (see links here).   

And, if you're able, visit this page and send a contribution, to help me sustain my work.

Friday, June 21, 2024

Navigate the Tutor/Mentor Library

I point to the same web sites over and over, and many have long links. Thus, I've created shorter tinyURL links. Since I use these frequently, I created a page so I could use the same link, over and over. These are organized by category. 

Strategy and Vision Pages - concept maps

This first set of links point to visualizations that show strategies that leaders in any city could apply to help youth tutor/mentor and learning programs grow in high poverty neighborhoods. One of these is a map showing the four sections of the Tutor/Mentor web library where you can find most of the information that I point to in the sections below.

• Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Mission -
• Strategy map -
• Mentoring to Career cMap -
• T/MC 4 part strategy -
• T/MC Village Cmap
• Public awareness concept map -
• Building Funding Stream Goal -
• Tutor/Mentor Institute Learning Guide -
• Full page with all concept maps:-
• Tag Cloud-Google Search - read blog article
• Steps to Start a Tutor/Mentor Program -
• Operating Principles for a Tutor/Mentor Program -

Note: From 1998 until 2018 the site was our main website. Due to serious hacking and no funds to rebuild the site, we've deactivated it and you can only view it on the Internet Archive. All link to the main domain will re-direct to the www.tutor site.    Visit this page to see how the organization's mission was stated on the original website

Places to connect with Tutor/Mentor and Each other

• Facebook page -
• Linked in group on volunteering -
• Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC video page -
• Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Video List -
• Tutor/Mentor Institute Video Channel -
• Email Newsletter subscribe -
• Current newsletter -

Chicago Volunteer-Based Tutor, Mentor Program Links:

Since 1993 T/MC has been maintaining a list of Chicago area non-school tutor/mentor programs, to help volunteers, parents, donors and others find programs in different neighborhoods. This list of programs can be found at this link:

Map showing location of Chicago area programs

Chicago Are Youth Tutor and/or Mentor Programs

* Chicago North - click here
* Chicago Central - click here
* Chicago South Central - click here
* Chicago Far South - click here
* Chicago Multiple Sites/Community Based - click here
* College Access Focus programs - click here
* Chicago Suburbs North West, South, NW Indiana, Rest of Ill. - click here
* School Based Programs - click here

Other youth serving programs in Chicago or nationally -

 Additional links point to other web sites that people can use to find contact information for youth tutoring and/or mentoring programs, and other volunteer opportunities, in Chicago, or other cities.

* Volunteer Recruitment info-
* Volunteer support networks -
* Volunteer Recruitment page on T/MI site -
* Chicago Programs on Facebook -
* Chicago Youth Programs - Instagram list -
* Chicago Youth Programs on LinkedIn -
* Chicago Youth Networks cMap -
* Chicago area Tutor/Mentor Volunteer Recruitment Campaign - 1995-2003 reports -

Web library (2000+ links)
Contains wide range of information anyone can use to understand where kids and families need extra help and why. Includes information to help youth living in poverty have more support helping them move through school and into adult lives.

* Tutor/Mentor Institute Library map (full) -
* Library cmap (non animated)
* Graphic of info in T/MI library (shown above) -

 Resources for tutoring/mentoring Programs, Volunteers, Youth

* College & career resources -
* Homework Resources -
* Homework help map
* Black History Links -
* Tutor & Mentor Training -
* Parent Info -
* Youth as leaders -

Link to research section of Tutor/Mentor Institute library - 
Research section cMap -

• Research links; NCLB, education -
• Research links Drop out crisis -
• Research links Social Capital -
• Social Capital - concept map -
• Research links –Mentoring, tutoring -
• STEM ideas -
• Public Health, Hospitals -
• Civil liberties resources -
• Blog articles with update links -

Equal justice, poverty mapping, inequality, prevention section of library:

* Equal Justice, Poverty Law cMap -
* Equal Justice, Poverty Law -
* Poverty and Crime Mapping -
* Race and Poverty research -
* Prevention resources -
* Street gangs -
* Rural Issues -
* Violence against Women, Girls - 
* Drop Box File with additional reading - click here

Links to Funding, Philanthropy, Business Involvement

• Resources map -
• Funding & Philanthropy links -
• Blogs - Fund Raising -
• Challenges Facing non profits -
• Making non profits more effective -
• NPO Mgt. resources -
• Corporate Social Responsibility links -
• Business Diversity Issues -
• Civic Engagement -
• Business School Connection -
• Building philanthropic capital – T/MC Ning blog -
• University partnerships -
• Workforce Development links -

Links to process improvement, innovation, etc. section of Tutor/Mentor Institute library
Much focus of 21st century education is on thinking skills, creativity, working with others. The links in this section of the library can be applied by youth, volunteers, organizations, businesses, etc. to solve day to day problems, and/or to solve complex community-wide problems.

• Process Improvement/Collaboration cMap –
• Collaboration links -
• Twitter Chats/Hashtags -
• Visualization links -
• Creativity, Innovation, Knowledge Mgt -
• GIS Mapping -
• Process Improvement & Evaluation -
• Social Entrepreneur ideas -

Links to blogs, opinion, on-line forums
Blogs are a format for sharing personal opinion and stories that attract attention to ideas and strategies. Most blogs include links to many other blogs. Thus, this is a constantly expanding universe of ideas. In one section I attempt to point to blogs of different tutor/mentor programs in Chicago. Thus far, too few are using blogs in all the ways they could be.

• Blog list on Inoreader -
• Blogs - Learning, Networking -
• Blogs on Education & cMOOCs -
• Blogs - Mentoring, tutoring program -
• Conferences and training -
• TMI Blog network map -

Links to other tutor, mentor and learning programs in Illinois and beyond – benchmarking opportunities

• eMentoring; networks, etc.-
• Mentoring, networks -
• Programs beyond Illinois -
• Mentoring links – international -
• Links to Program Locators -
• Library links to afterschool networks/resources -
• Alternative Schools -
• Intergenerational resources -
• Adult Literacy Programs -

Technology networks and resources, cool-tools

• Digital Divide Movie; Issues:
• Technology networks -
• Technology – cool tools -
• Data Collaboration Map -

Other Categories in Library

• Chicago Public Schools. Misc Chicago links -
• Faith Based -
• Arts Based -
• Reference books, Dictionaries -
• Suggested books -
• Test Prep, Pro Tutors, Fee-based -
• ESL Learning Resources (list on Tutor/Mentor blog article - click here

Tutor/Mentor Institute articles

While the majority of information shared on Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web sites represents ideas of other people and organizations, a portion of the ideas represent Dan Bassill's own ideas and vision, based on 40 years of leading a single tutor/mentor program, and of helping similar programs grow in more places.

March 1, 2022 - D. Bassill interview w. Anthony Brogdon, Detroit -

 April 12, 2022 - D. Bassill interview with Aliyu B. Solomon, from Nigeria -

Since the 1990s Dan Bassill has been creating Visual Essays to communicate ideas and strategies. You can now find three pages with my collection (one page is shown below)  -

These presentations are also on at

Many of these same Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC idea presentations are also available at where they are presented using a different format.

Concept map library:  The Tutor/Mentor Connection (1993-present) and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC (2011-present) have been using cMapTools to create concept maps since 2005. These are sharing ideas and strategies and showing organization of information on our the Tutor/Mentor website and blogs. You can view these on this page, too.

These are some of the cMaps you will find.

• Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC -2018 -
• TMI 2011-12 -
• Concept map – strategic investment by business -
• Birth to work challenges -
• Influencing Change via on-line communities -
• What We Need to Think About-cMap -
• Tutor/Mentor Program Locator re-build - layers needed -
• T/MC History of using maps - 1993-present.
• Reasons to engage -
• Volunteer Growth Cycle -
• Volunteer growth strategy - cMap -
• Information flow strategy -
• T/MC info flow map -
• Concept Map - Business Motivation -
• Concept map workforce development –
• Civil Liberties links -
• Complex Problems - Leaders Needed -
• Civic Engagement-2020 -
• T/MC Rest of Story on Ning -
• Athletes leading -
• Volunteer Opportunities platforms - cMap -
• Talent cmap -
• Network Map -
• T/MC social media net -
• Building Teams cmap -
• Career Pipeline map -
• Virtual Team-
• Many to 1-
• Race-Poverty Cmap -
• Race-Poverty Map - update help needed -
• Collaboration Mapping -
• Network Building Maps -
• Connecting Networks Map -
• Map stories album on Ning -
• Program’s learning goals cmap -
• Learning Path 10-10-16 -
• Learning Path 7-14-17 -
• Public Health-Hope -
• Interns communicating T/MC and T/MI strategies -
• POTUS46 to-do list -

• Local Global Learning via Twitter -
• Digging through digital archives w #clmooc -
• 2011 Drop out Conference cmap -
• Community Development Conf 2012 – cmap -
• NCVS 2012 concept map -
• WTTW American Graduate map -

Other Visualizations of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC strategies:

• Mentoring Kids to Career outline on Debategraph - 

Archived Versions of Tutor/Mentor Connection websites that are no longer working

 * Tutor/Mentor Program Locator Search - archive page:
 * Tutor/Mentor Program Locator Interactive Map - archive page:
 * Tutor/Mentor Map Gallery - archive page:
 * Program Locator Home Page - archive:
 * OHATS - Organizational History and Tracking System (June 2012 version -
* OHATS Metrics page - June 2012 -
* Tutor/Mentor Connection site now archived at

Strategy Visualizations Created by Interns - Between 2006 and 2016 interns from a variety of universities have created visualizations to interpret Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC strategies. Visit these links to browse this collection:

* Animations and visualizations by interns:
* Introduction to interns -
* List of intern visualizations -
* Videos by interns -
* Loyola University Intern reflection -
* Strategy visualization Prezi -
* Service Learning Loop –

Tutor/Mentor Conference (1994-2015) web site -

• Conference participation maps at
• Conference participation map on Tableau at
• Conference Planning.
• Conferences since 1994 - story map -

History/Awards Tutor/Mentor Connection 1993-present; Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, 2011-present

• Tutor/Mentor Connection 1990 - 2018 -
• Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC roots 1965-1992 -
• Tutor/Mentor Institute CMAP -
• 4-part strategy planning concept map -
• Tutor/Mentor Institute Planning Wiki -
• Tutor/Mentor Institute support at
• TMI Talent Needed (same as above).
• TMI – what we do map -
• T/MC and T/MI History -
• Stories/Interviews w/Dan Bassill in Library -
• Dan Bassill Awards -

 Mapping for Justice and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Blog articles 

Social Network Analysis articles
Creating networks and using network maps to understand who is participating, as well as who is missing, is an ongoing focus of Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and Tutor/Mentor Connection. Along the left site of this blog is a list of "tags". Browse articles under networking, network building, and network analysis to follow this set of ideas.

• Network Analysis overview on Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site -
• 2010 SNA Training with Valdis Krebs -
• Youth SNA map discussion on NIng -
• Kalyani maps of May 08Conference -
• Kalyani maps of Nov 08 conf-
• Kalyani blog -

NOTE: I was inspired to create this list in January 2016 after viewing a screen cast video that Terry Elliott used to highlight a list of podcasts posted on a blog by Bryan Alexander. As I viewed the screen cast I though that it might be useful for me to create a similar list, pointing to various resources in my own Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Library.  

I have had to re-create this article in June 2024 after the page was taken off line without a specific explanation. 

I hope you find this list and blog of value.  I depend on contributions to help fund my work. Visit this page if you want to help. 

Still judged by color of their skin

I created this graphic a few years ago to share my fear for the alumni of volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs I led, and for their children, and grand children.

This was reinforced yesterday when I watched baseball star, Reggie Jackson, talk about the racial discrimination that he faced when playing in the 1960s and 1970s.  You can view the video on Twitter  (x) at this link

These are among many things happening locally, nationally and globally that scare me.

Locally, I see stories daily showing Black and Brown kids and adults shot and often killed in intentional and random shootings.  I see growing evidence that our highest source of justice, the Supreme Court, is corrupt and under the control of religious extremists.  While we're hopeful that November's US elections will bring control of the US House back to Democrats and Progressives, expand the majority in the Senate, and keep the White House, that's no guarantee that any of the terrible things happening in the US and the world will change.

Here are two articles that add to my sense of despair.   One article shows how right wing political movements and ideologies have grown around the world, fueled by social media and uses of the Internet.   A second article digs into the Wikipedia world and find a lot of things that stink.  

Here's a cMap where I point to many more issues that concern me.

Each node on this concept map opens to a collection of websites with an extensive range of articles that I wish I had had when I studied history, social studies and political science in high school and college in the 1960s.

Thinking local. Fearing global.

It's in the context of thinking of the long-term impact resulting from how we're electing right-wing leaders in the US and throughout the world that I re-examine my own long term efforts to help well-organized, volunteer-based, non-school tutor and/or mentor programs grow in high poverty areas of Chicago, where adults connect with youth when they are as young as elementary school, then stay connected through high school, and into adult lives.

Birth to Work goal
That's what the graphic at the right visualizes.

The kids in the upper left were in 7th and 8th grade when this photo was taken  in the mid 1990s. I'm pictured at the right in late 2000s photo when one of these kids, Tanjela Smith Marlow, came back to talk at the annual year end dinner. It's 2024. Tanji and I are still connected on Facebook. We've been exchanging ideas about my work over the past month and had a ZOOM call this week.  That's what I mean by "long-term".

Below is a page from the 2000 February-March issue of the printed newsletter that I was able to mail to about 10,000 people. I started sending these in 1993, but then the mail list was about 400. It grew each year from 1994-2002, but never reach more than 14,000.  In the early 2000s eMail and web sites took the place of the printed newsletters as I ran out of money to continue them.

Feb-March 2000 T/MC Report 

 This article includes a map of Chicago, showing high poverty areas where organized tutor/mentor programs are most needed, as a way to expand the social capital, or network of people and experiences, for kids who have a limited based of work and career models, and people opening doors to opportunity, in their lives.

Connect your network to information
Here's a graphic that communicates the same idea. On both graphics the large circle represents the information library that I have been building since I started leading a single tutor/mentor program in Chicago in 1975.

The circle also represents a meeting place, or community of people, who gather on a regular basis, like people in faith groups do, and people in classrooms do, to learn from a central library information and ideas, and to innovate ways they could help tutor/mentor programs grow in different parts of the city and suburbs.

Anyone can take this role
I took this to another level when starting the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993. In my 1973-1990 retail advertising career at Montgomery Ward's corporate headquarters in Chicago we supported 400 stores in 40 US states, through the work of various central office teams.  They could do that because they knew where existing stores were located, and where there were potential customers for new stores.

By building a library of information, and a directory of existing tutor/mentor programs, my goal was that people in these learning and planning groups would begin to think of ways they could help all youth tutor/mentor programs within a geographic area get the ideas, dollars, talent, technology and other things each program needs to be great at what they do.

Instead of every program constantly reaching into a small pool of resources for what they need to operate, my vision has that others who care about what these programs were trying to do, would use their own time and talent to help mobilize these resources and push them to programs in every part of the city...based on the list of programs I was hosting (and still do),

My success over the past 30 years has been hindered by disasters like Montgomery Ward, our main sponsor, going out of business in 2000, and by the 9/11 terror attack, the following wars, natural disasters, then the financial melt-down of 2008, and finally, in 2011, the Board of Directors deciding to discontinue the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy and focus only on our single Cabrini Connections program..

Mayor Daley at 1997 T/MC Conference
However, I also was never able to get consistent, in-depth, support from Mayor Daley, major foundations, or other civic leaders. I had one business person visit my office in the 1990s and after I walked him through the strategy he said "I love what you're doing, but I'll never support you....because I want to start my own thing."

Since 2011 I've not had an organizational structure to help me continue the Tutor/Mentor Connection. I created the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC with the hope that I could generate revenue through consulting or by finding partners to invest in this strategy. That has not happened.  As I write this I'm wondering where the money will come from to keep my bills paid for the rest of this year...and into 2025.

Yet the need for non-school youth serving organizations reaching k-12 youth in high poverty areas is as great today as it was in 1993.

Enough is Enough - link
That brings me back to the start of this article. Kids entering school today will take 12 years to finish high school and another four to eight years to be starting stable jobs and careers.

That's 20 years.

What will the world look like in 20 years? Will people of color, people of different faiths or different gender identities, or who are fleeing conflict in their own countries, be seeking a refuge from the terror in America by then?

Will sports and entertainment stars tell of a different lived experience, free of racism, violence and discrimination based on the color of their skin? 

Or will we have gone through a third World War, fueled by nationalist leaders in the USA and different countries? Will there have been civil wars within the US and other countries, pitting extremist ideologies against each other?

Knowledge base needed - link

Local-Global Strategy.

While my local focus has been to help youth tutor/mentor programs grow in Chicago neighborhoods, the process I've piloted is knowledge-based problem solving. If someone aggregates information about a problem others can use that information to innovate solutions.

With this in mind I've begun to expand the knowledge base I host, pointing to articles about social justice, inequality, poverty, etc. I also point to articles about the climate crisis and about some of the political issues that I feel need to be better understood by more people.

To help people navigate the information I've been collecting, I created this article, which has a list of links to various sections of my web library.

Using this, anyone can start to do their own learning, and can begin to form a circle of friends, family, co-workers and faith group, who dig deeper into this information and try to create a different future than the one we seem to speeding into.

Is it enough? I feel that I'm pushing a huge rock up a steep mountain, with too little help, and too many other issues competing for attention. With the growth of right wing governments I fear the mountain itself will collapse, and what we do to build systems of support for disadvantaged youth will have no benefit.

Or, will this be the only thing that matters? Even if the entire world is in flames, our will to survive will continue to burn brightly, and our need to provide systems of support for our kids, and each other, will still be with us.

If you can help me keep this information resource available, visit my FundMe page

While I seek help, I also seek partners or a way to make the resources and ideas I've aggregated since 1993 a part of the work others are doing.  Visit this article describing "a bold experiment called MITx U.Lab" and compare what they are describing to what I've described in this and other articles on this blog.  How can I get this group to adopt the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC as one of its focus areas?

7-5-2024 update - I learned that today's shooting in Chicago, were two women and a boy were killed, took the life of Nakeeshia Strong, who was part of an extended family that, in the early 1990s, was part of the tutoring program I led.  This is what I fear. 

Monday, June 17, 2024

Create Learning Group to Understand Goals of this Blog

Below is a concept map that I created many years ago to help guide people through all of the information I've shared since forming the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in Chicago in 1993. 

You can open it at this link.  In the upper left corner I share a link to a video created in 2015 by an intern from South Korea, to guide people through this concept map. 

The goal is to help people in every place with concentrations of persistent, on-going, poverty create and sustain mentor-rich youth programs that help kids through school and into adult lives. I led one of these from 1975 to 2011 and am still connected to many who were part of these programs in the past. 

The graphic below visualizes this long-term goal and shows teens who were part of the program in the 1990s who I'm still connected with more than 20 years later. 

We created the T/MC in 1993 to collect and share ideas and draw greater attention to all volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in Chicago (including our own), to help each program get the ideas and resources needed to constantly improve how they impact the lives of kids and volunteers who become part of their programs.  

I included both of these graphics in this article

I studied history in college, and grew up in a church-attending family.  I'm familiar with how Jesus recruited a few Disciples, and started teaching them his message.  He died too soon for much to be taught, but inspired these Disciples to spend the rest of their lives understanding his message and sharing it with others.

I'm also familiar with how other faith groups have a core history that inspires millions of others. 

I'm now 77 and don't know how many years I have left.  What I do know is that I've probably put a whole lot more information in the public space than what Jesus was able to do in his short life.

So I invite former students and volunteers of the programs I led, and of other long-term tutor/mentor programs, to become Disciples, now, and in future years.

Go through the archives I share on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC website and build and share your own understanding of this information.  Share it widely and help places throughout the world build information-intermediaries like the T/MC that not only collect and share information, but lead a constant mobilization of volunteers and donors who will help well-organized, K-12 tutor/mentor programs grow in every high poverty neighborhood throughout the USA and beyond. 

This is not a new invitation. Read this 2001 article in the Ecumenical Child Care Network newsletter. 

Be patient. Be persistent.  You can't learn this all in one day, or even one year.  People in faith communities spend their entire lives reading and reflecting on printed scripture.  People in universities spend four to eight years in obtaining degrees.

It took around 350 years after the death of Christ before Rome officially recognized the Christian religion.  I hope it does not take that long to build T/MC type intermediaries in every place with concentrations of poverty, who will do the work needed to mobilize others and build systems that help kids through school, while at the same time destroying the systems that have kept people in poverty.

As long as I draw breath I'll try to help you in this process.  

This page shows where you can connect with me on social media.    This page shows where you can make a contribution to help fund my work and the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC.

Thanks for reading!  Have a great week!

Thursday, June 13, 2024

What if political candidates did this?

I've used this graphic, or versions of it, for 30 years to show my commitment to helping volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs in all parts of the Chicago region attract needed resources. These include: volunteers, public visibility, operating dollars, training/learning (ideas), technology and leadership.

I and six other volunteers formed Cabrini Connections in late 1992 with the goal of helping teens who had aged out of a different program that I had led from 1975 to 1992, continue to receive mentor and tutor support through high school. 

We realized that one more small program serving a few teens could make a life-changing difference to them, but would have little impact on the city of Chicago, where over 240,000 kids lived in high poverty areas.

So we decided to split our efforts, and any money we could raise, and created a second program that would help every existing tutor/mentor program (including our own) grow, and would help new programs form where more were needed.  During 1993 planning we developed a strategy, and gave this program a name.

We called it the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC).  In 2011 I formed the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC to keep the T/MC going in Chicago and help versions of it grow in other cities and countries.  

The T/MC had a four-part strategy, shown in this concept map.  

Step 1 focused on collecting information that anyone could use to help tutor/mentor programs grow, and to help kids in high poverty areas move through school and into jobs and careers.  

Step 2 focused on building public awareness, drawing more consistent attention to the information in the library, and to each tutor/mentor program in a list of programs that we started building in 1993. 

Step 3 focuses on helping people understand and use the information in the library. This could be volunteers, students, parents, educators, business, media, program leaders, policy-makers, researchers, etc.

Step 4 focused on  helping people use the information from Step 1 and Step 3 to develop actions that helped programs get the consistent resources each needs to operate, innovate and stay connected to kids and volunteers.

Over the past 30 years I've built a huge library, and used concept maps, like the one below, to show what's in difference sections.  

This is information anyone can use, in any part of the country where there are areas of concentrated, persistent, on-going  poverty.  

So with billions of dollars being spent in this election season, why can't every candidate have a page on their website that points to libraries like mine and encourages supporters to volunteer, and donate, to organizations working to improve the well-being of people and planet.

That might be wishful thinking. Too much to ask.  But, that's what I do.

Last week I received an invitation to the 60th birthday of Leo Hall, who I first met in the fall of 1973 when I was assigned to be his tutor/mentor.  We've stayed connected for over 50 years, which is one of the motivations I have for helping organized programs build and sustain similar connections.

Here's another reason. This is a message I received on LinkedIn today from a former volunteer.  He wrote: "I was so glad to come across your profile, and see that you're still making a difference for Chicago youth. I'm still fighting the fight for Philly youth. And it all started with the Cabrini program in '92--a life-changing experience I'm forever grateful for."

Over the past 30 years I've received numerous thank you messages from former students and volunteers, parents and leaders of other tutor/mentor programs.  I've begun to share some of these via past newsletters and correspondence, that I'm putting in my Google Drive.  I keep looking for someone who will care about this information and will bring it to a university, where it helps future leaders learn to duplicate what I've been trying to do.

If you're still reading, thank you.  Please share my posts.  Someone you know could be the person who takes this forward for the next 30 years. 

Please connect with me on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter (x), Instagram, Mastodon, etc.  Find links on this page.

Finally, if you can spare a dime, visit this page and make a contribution to help fund my continued work. 

Saturday, June 08, 2024

Browse the archives. Apply the ideas.

Since January I've been posting articles that share newsletters, yearbooks, maps, media stories and other archives from my 50 years of leading a tutor mentor program in Chicago and trying to help similar programs grow in more places.

As you go through this weekend, and the coming weeks, I hope you'll take time to scroll through past articles, or hit the archive, history or newsletter tabs at the left, and read past articles.

In an ideal world you'd be able to find a handful of blogs like mine in every place with concentrations of persistent poverty, with articles that stretch back 10 to 20 years or longer.  

That may not be what's happened in the past, but it could be in the future, if individuals and groups will read my articles and create and publish their own versions, using multiple formats, not just text.

In the concept map shown below I  point to articles written about my work, by people I've met over the past 10-15 years.  
I'd love to have a version of this where I'm pointing to media created by others, that duplicate messages I've put in my blog articles and past newsletters.  Share the link in the comment section if you're doing this, or on social media.

Visit this page to find my social media links.  Visit this page to help fund my work. 

Thanks for reading, and sharing, my articles. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Saving our digital history

I've posted many articles that point to archives of work done at the Tutor/Mentor programs I led from 1975 to 2011 and of the Tutor/Mentor Connection since 1993. They are part of over 1200 articles posted on this blog since 2005, which have thousands of embedded links.

Thus, when I read articles like this from the NiemanReports site, titled, "Saving the First Draft of History", I pay attention. 

Just last week I saw another article, from the Pew Research Center, titled "When Online Content Disappears".  The subhead in this was "38% of webpages that existed in 2013 are no longer accessible a decade later."

The first article is an interview with Mark Graham, director of the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive.  I've used it often to find links to articles in my blogs where the links have broken.  I've also used it to show web pages from Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection, created as early as 2000.  

This is a topic that should be of concern for all of us. The two articles clearly emphasize what's at stake. We've come to depend on the Internet so much for collecting, sharing and storing information and history, we've overlooked the danger of it all disappearing.  

A thousand years from now people will know about ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire, and even William Shakespeare, but may not know anything about the years from 1990 to 2050 or later....because nothing was preserved!  

Obviously, this concerns me on a personal level. 

I have been trying to find people who would help preserve my history and continue my work in future years.  Out of my vast network of family, friends, college, work, fraternity, tutor/mentor, connected learning and social enterprise people, there must be a few who will take on that role.

Reading these articles and others like it, is a starting point.  I've added the links to this section of my library.  

If you know people who are discussing this, and finding answers, please introduce them to me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Mastodon and/or other social media channels.  This needs to be a worldwide discussion.

I found the post titled "Saving the First Draft of History" on this Twitter post. That might be a good place for you to join the conversation.

7-10-2024 update - Battle for Libraries. Save the Internet Archive - click here

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Thanks from 2006 and 2024

In past articles I've tried to draw attention to volunteer-based Chicago youth tutor, mentor and learning programs who I see sharing their stories on social media.  That leaves out some programs that have been around for many years, but don't use social media regularly.  

Inspired Youth is one.  Below is the home page of their website

I was reminded of this today when I received a question on Mastodon from Jayne Cravens, who has been a consultant to volunteer-based organizations since 1996.   She was responding to this 2006 post that I shared earlier today. In it I had mentioned Beth Palmer, who has led Inspired Youth since the 1990s.

Jayne asked me where the stories were featured, which prompted me to search the archives I have placed on my Google drive.   I shared this folder, which has reports from 1995 to 2003 Volunteer Recruitment Campaigns organized by the Tutor/Mentor Connection. 

Then I dug a little deeper and found this letter that Beth had sent to me.

This is part of a set of letters and email sent to me between 2001 and 2006 that can be viewed in this PDF.    By coincidence, Beth and I exchanged an email just a few days ago, as she was celebrating her 40 years of leading the Inspired Youth Tutoring Program (and Epworth Tutoring Program before that).

My archives have a wealth of information showing how I've tried to help tutor mentor programs grow in Chicago, while leading my own single programs from 1975 to 2011.  I'd love to make them available to researchers who want to help new leaders grow in Chicago and other cities who focus on information-based program innovation and growth and on helping fill all high poverty areas of cities like Chicago with programs like Inspired Youth and others who I point to from this page on my website. 

Thanks for reading (and hopefully) sharing my blog articles.

As I've digitized my files and past newsletters I've been reminded of how few people have ever seen any of this information. That won't change unless other people begin to dig into the archives and share the work.

You can connect with me on many social media platforms (see links here). 

And, if you're interested, you can also help me pay the bills to keep doing this work. Visit this page for information.