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January 2021 - Issue 196
January is National Mentoring Month
This year's National Mentoring Month will be much lonelier for many due to Covid19. But for many there will be ZOOM gatherings with volunteer tutors and mentors and new ways to connect and learn. As we start a new year, youth and families living in high poverty areas will still struggle more than others due to low access to digital tools and services.
Maybe during this Mentoring Month you can spend a little time learning about digital access and remote learning issues, then spend time in 2021 helping to close these gaps.
The ideas and resources shared in this monthly newsletter point to a library of resources that can be used by anyone, in Chicago, or around the world, to help mentor-rich youth programs thrive in all of the neighborhoods where they are most needed, and to help understand and respond to these over-riding challenges.
If you are a consistent reader,
consider a contribution
to help fund the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
Visit Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Website
A Day that Will Live in Infamy .... January 6. 2021
Like most of you I was horrified watching the attack on the US Capital on January 6 and I fear what will happen to our democracy in coming months and years. I'm hopeful that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and a Democratic controlled Congress will bring healing to every zip code in America, with new laws, new policy, and a flow of needed resources. That remains to be seen.
Amidst all of this we are celebrating Mentoring this month. While there's much to distract us I feel we need to continue to focus daily on ways we can build and sustain mentor-rich support systems that create HOPE and OPPORTUNITY for those who need extra help. In many ways this is a strategy to reduce the appeal to the right wing idealism that leads to hatred, division and destruction.
Good luck to all of you as you travel this difficult journey.
What is the State of Mentoring in your city?
In December MENTOR New York shared its Report on the State of NY Mentoring which you can read at
The site also shares Covid19 resources.
I suspect other cities and states might report similar findings but I've not seen this type of report yet from Illinois or from others.
From January 27 to 29 MENTOR will host it's annual conference, in an all-virtual format this year. I've already registered and hope that others will do the same. Use
Dig into tutor/mentor web library
* Mentoring networks -
* Tutor/Mentor Programs beyond Illinois -
* Black History studies -
* Homework & learning help -
* Poverty, racism, inequality -
* Impact of Covid19; What's next? -
* Digital divide research & articles -
* Resources from Afterschool Alliance -
* Recommended Learning Resources on YouTube -
Purpose of Tutor/Mentor Library
I've been building a web library since 1993 with a goal that people would use this information to innovate better ways to support k-12 youth in well-organized, and well-funded, volunteer based tutor, mentor and learning organizations.
to see how ideas from one place can inspire work done in many other places. Few of the youth tutor/mentor programs I look at share their strategies, program design, lessons learned, etc. consistently on websites and blogs, but if more did this they would be helping others learn from them, so more kids would receive better support.
What does your planning cycle look like?
It's January and National Mentoring Month draws attention to mentoring programs throughout the country. If you're on a school-based calendar, your year starts in August as you recruit youth and volunteers. That means in January you should be starting a process of evaluating your own fall start-up activities with a goal of doing even better next fall. As you move through the spring, you should be inviting your volunteers, youth, parents and donors into your brainstorming and planning process. By June you should have a plan of operations for the coming year.
to learn more of this process.
Understand challenges facing youth, and new President of USA
is one of many that I've created over the past 15 years to visualize some of the things we need to be thinking about in our efforts to help kids in poverty areas move through school and into adult lives.
I created another that shows many of the issues facing America and the world as Joe Biden takes over as our 46h President.
View it here.
Drawing people together to read, think, discuss then form action strategies is one of the biggest challenges we face. Here's
one of many articles
I've focused on building a learning organization.
Below are resources to use to help youth in your community.
Resources from Tutor/Mentor
* List of Chicago area youth Tutor and/or Mentor programs, plus other resources for finding youth programs -
* Facebook pages of Chicago area youth programs -
* Strategy PDFs by Tutor/Mentor -
* Concept Map library -
* Mapping for Justice blog -
* Blog article showing short links to resources hosted in Tutor/Mentor library and websites -
* Hashtags I follow on Twitter. Use to expand your own network -
* Blogs I follow using
Chicago Youth Serving Organizations in
Please help update this cMap and the links in the Tutor/Mentor web library. Just email me with additions or changes.
* Covid-19 in Illinois - Impact on Nonprofits in 2020. Forefront report. -
* 2021 National Mentoring Summit will be a remote conference this year.
* National Mentoring Resource Center - Covid-19 resources -
* MyChiMyFuture - City of Chicago - visit site and find activities for youth -
* Strengthening Chicago Youth web site,
; blog -
* Chicago Mentoring Collaborative -
* To & Through Project web site -
* Incarceration Reform Digital Resource Center -
* Chicago Learning Exchange -
* ChiHackNight - remote civic technology meet-up; every Tuesday in Chicago -
see weekly agenda
About this newsletter.
While I try to send this only once a month, I write
weekly. Throughout the newsletter I post links to a few of the articles published in the past month or earlier. I encourage you to spend a little time each week reading these articles and following the links. Use the ideas and presentations in group discussions with other people who are concerned about the same issues.
Since 2011 I've supported Tutor/Mentor Connection via the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, which is not a 501-c-3. It's also not broadly funded. I've covered expenses through my own savings and the help of a few who make annual donations to me either via my December 19 birthday campaign, or my year-end fund me campaign. Below are links to each page. Please help if you can. Thank you to all who contributed in 2020.
Dan's 74th Birthday
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Thank you for reading and sharing the ideas in this newsletter.
Tutor/Mentor Connection, Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303, Chicago, Il 60654
Thank you for reading. And thank you to those who help fund the
Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and this newsletter. Contributions always welcome.
Connect with Dan (tutormentor) on one of these social media platforms.
Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC
Merchandise Mart PO Box 3303
Chicago, IL 60654