The mission of the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC)* is to gather and organize all that is known about successful non-school tutoring/mentoring programs and apply that knowledge to expand the availability and enhance the effectiveness of these services to children throughout the Chicago region.
Since 1993 the T/MC has been building and maintaining a master database of organizations in the Chicago region that provide various forms of volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring. This information is available on an interactive map-based directory at http://www.tutormentorprogramlocator.net and a links library at http://tinyurl.com/ChiTM-Program-Links
Our goal is to help mentor rich volunteer-based programs become more available in all high poverty areas of Chicago and its suburbs. Using information on the T/MC web sites leaders can build more effective programs, business and philanthropy can build strategies that provide more consistent support, reaching youth in more of the high poverty neighborhoods, and volunteers, parents and students can find programs where they might connect.
This is accomplished through a four part strategy
1) Collect knowledge about volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs: how programs succeed, where programs are located, and where more programs and resources are needed. This information is shared in a library at http://tinyurl.com/T-MC-Library
2) Aggressively share this knowledge through social media, email marketing and public awareness campaigns. The quarterly event strategy of T/MC is described at http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/cabrinivideos/191-year
3) Facilitate understanding and use of this information so more people and organizations are involved in actions that help tutor/mentor programs grow and operate in many locations. A May and November Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference has been held in Chicago every six months since 1994. http://www.tutormentorconference.org and an on-line forum is available at http://tutormentorconnection.ning.com
4) Improve flow of needed resources from community and industry leaders to individual tutor/mentor programs in every part of Chicago, and in other urban areas. The database of tutor/mentor programs enables parents, volunteers, donors, policy makers and media to identify tutor/mentor programs in different neighborhoods, while looking at the overall distribution of these programs in the entire region.
Many of our ideas are expressed in this Library of pdf essays and in the animated presentations at http://www.tutormentorexchange.net and in blogs at http://tutormentor.blogspot.com. These are ideas that can be used by any one interested in making mentor-rich tutor/mentor learning programs more available in high poverty areas of Chicago or any other urban area.
This information is constantly being updated thus we encourage users to visit often and share the information with people in your own workplace, faith group and social networks.
In the United States, there are more than 13 million youth living in poverty who might benefit from this type of support system.
Review Tutor/Mentor Connection Concept Map (Strategy) to understand these goals in more detail.
* In July 2011 the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC was created to support the continued operation of the Tutor/Mentor Connection in Chicago and to help similar intermediary organizations grow in other cities. While the T/MI seeks to generate revenue for its own innovations and operations it also seeks to be a catalyst to support the growth of other social entrepreneurs who co-develop some of the products and service the T/MC and T/MI have conceptualized, but have not had the resources to develop.