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Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Advocacy
By nsbyrer @ 4:41 PM :: 2942 Views :: Article Rating
 
A full 37.8% of the 2 million children in Illinois come from low-income families. The data show that not even half of these children meet state standards, which means that approximately 400,000 boys and girls from low-income families are struggling.These are a lot of kids who face a very bleak future. The consequences for these children, their families, their communities and our state are costly and troublesome. The crisis is real and the crisis is big.

CLOSING ILLINOIS' ACHIEVEMENT GAP:LESSONS FROM THE ?GOLDEN SPIKE? HIGH POVERTY HIGH PERFORMING SCHOOLS. by Glenn W. McGee, Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies No general would go to war without maps and battle charts. Yet, too many leaders fail to use these tools to help create better public understanding of education issues, and a more equal distribution of resources that would close the funding and learning gaps in Illinois or any other state. The charts shown below are just a few of the tools the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) has created to unite every stakeholder in the mentoring-to-careers movement in one long-term strategy.

View the attached PowerPoint essay to see how the T/MC seeks to use computer maps. Maps worth thousand words The Tutor/Mentor Connection had created a term titled Total Quality Mentoring. It is illustrated by a chart (above) that shows the 25 year birth to career timeline that every child in America grows through. It shows the school and afterschool time frames when teachers, parents and community members mentor youth and open doors to opportunity. It illustrates the diversity of adult and community influences that are abundant in most young people's lives. These influences include family, relatives, neighbors and church and civic members, who collectively model "go to school, go to work" expectations from the day a child is born.

However, such diversity of career models does not exist in the lives of children born in areas of high poverty and high segregation. While the schools may try to provide these influences, the non-school hours offer greater potential for linking large numbers of work-place mentors, tutors and role models with kids living in these neighborhoods. This is the goal of Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection. Read more about the Total Quality Mentoring concept: TQM

The T/MC seeks to enlist business, professional groups, faith groups, hospitals, etc. in industry-driven strategies that PULL youth to careers. We feel this strategy will not only increase the number of adults and businesses working directly with kids in poverty neighborhoods, but will also increase those who learn about the funding issues behind the gaps in education performance. The T/MC believes that by increasing the number of voting adults who understand these issues we can change the election results, and the way schools are currently funded.

The T/MC seeks to recruit leaders from all sectors of industry, arts, health and education. View the T/MC LEADERSHIP power point and see if you can be one of these leaders: Role of Leaders

The Abraham Marovitz Marovitz Lend A Hand Program, hosted by the Chicago Bar Association/Foundation, is an example of this type of LEADERSHIP. The T/MC feels such programs could be duplicated by lawyers and professional groups in any city in America. Learn more about the Lend A Hand Program at http://www.lend-a-hand.net

There are many ways companies can reach out and touch kids as early as pre-school with reading and enrichment programs. However, there is not a lot of time and money available for people in companies to do research to find ideas that would work in their specific company. The T/MC seeks to organize information in an Internet library, by age group, that anyone can draw from, at any time to build and sustain an involvement with kids. This organization of information is beginning to grow in the LINKS section of this web site and in the www.tutormentorexchange.net web site.
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