At the http://tutormentor.blogspot.com blog the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) provides weekly commentary on some of the opportunities and challenges of volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring programs. I hope you'll read this often.
The major challenges come from too few dollars available to fund the on-going operations of volunteer-based tutoring/mentoring programs. The causes of this are both at the non profit site where programs don't have the staff, or sophistication, to raise funds consistently, and on the business/education/policy side, where the many values of a tutor/mentor program are not well understood.
While this is a year-round problem, November and December are the biggest charity months of the year. Thus, the T/MC invites leaders of tutor/mentor programs, as well as leaders in business, media, philanthropy, education and the community, to join in a shared effort to increase the number of times the story of tutoring/mentoring is told between the first of November and Dec. 31.
Everytime someone tells of the interaction of a youth and an adult in a volunteer-based program, we increase the number of people who begin to understand what these programs do, and what they need in order to survive and expand. As programs learn to link their sites to other programs, and as aggregators, such as the T/MC begin to link to multiple programs, this story telling will serve as advertising to draw more volunteers and donors to tutor/mentor programs throughout the country.
Does this interest you? Do you want to learn more? Introduce yourself in the discussion forum on this site. Come to events we host in Chicago, or on-line, to explore ways we can do more to increase visibility, and overcome the challenges, keeping us from having comprehensive tutor/mentor programs available in more of the neighborhoods where they are needed.