Hello everyone, as a way of spreading awareness of volunteer recruitment, I have drafted a letter. This particular one goes to schools, who are a wonderful resource of potential volunteers since many high schools require a certain number of community service hours in order to graduate. Please critique/comment as you like and let me know what you think!
Wednesday August 22nd, 2007
September means the start of a new school year. As thousands of children go back to school in the Chicagoland area, we need to remind ourselves of different ways we can make a positive impact on a child’s life. Nearly three dozen Chicago Public School children were killed last year as a result of some violent crime. While many people wonder how this could happen, the question we need to ask ourselves is why did it happen and what can we do to prevent even more children dying in the future.
One of the ways you can make a difference in a child’s life is through tutoring and mentoring. Studies have shown that tutoring and mentoring underprivileged youth not only improves their academic performance and chances of going to college and getting a good job, but also contributes to their overall well-being, and the well-being of the community. Children who receive tutoring and mentoring are less likely to drop out of school, join gangs, get arrested and get pregnant while still a teenager. What’s more, in order to make an impact on a child’s life, all a tutor/mentor needs to do is give is an hour a week of their time.
What’s important though is that this tutor/mentor relationship be sustained for a period of time. In many of these children’s lives, many people have let them down and in order to make a difference, a commitment of at least one year is needed. While tutors and mentors mainly are adults, high school and college students can also be a part of this.
One of the ways students can make an impact on children’s lives being tutors and mentors is to form a service learning group to do tutoring and mentoring. While students may graduate and move away, the tradition of serving by being a tutor and mentor is put in place. Service learning organizations can team up with elementary schools in their area or with one of the several hundred tutoring and mentoring organizations in the city of Chicago alone.
A website that shows where there are tutoring and mentoring programs in the city of Chicago and the surrounding areas is www.tutormentorconnection.org. With the Program Locator tool, you can search by what age group a program serves, whether they offer tutoring or mentoring or both, and by where a program is located by zip code. This is a wonderful tool that demonstrates how many opportunities there are in the city to serve youth. It also demonstrates that in the areas of greatest need, especially on the South and Westside, there is a smaller number of tutoring and mentoring programs being offered. As a result, we hope this added awareness will lead to the creation of new programs in these areas of great need.
Please, relay this message to school service learning organizations and other people you think will be of help. We can all make a difference in the lives of children, simply by spreading the word of the benefits of tutoring and mentoring.
Thank you for your time. Please spread the word.