Over the past 40 years of leading a tutor/mentor program in Chicago, I've come to think of volunteer based tutor/mentor programs as an ideal structure to help connect youth from high poverty areas with volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds beyond poverty.
I've also come to understand well-organized, mentor rich programs, where kids and volunteers meet regularly at a central location, as a form of bridging social capital, greatly influenced by Robert Putnam and others. Putnam's new book, titled “Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis” shows how the family, school and community support systems available to youth in high poverty neighborhoods are far different from those available to youth living in affluent neighborhoods.
In well-organized programs, volunteers from different work areas, age, race and class backgrounds build relationships with youth, and each other. As volunteers stay involved for multiple years, many form stronger bonds with kids, reaching the goal Putnam calls for of making “these kids, our kids”. Furthermore, some of these volunteers help programs grow, and find the financial resources needed for ongoing operations.
In this webinar, I will share tips from my own experiences of leading a volunteer based tutor/mentor program, as well as from a 17 year retail advertising career with one of America's largest retail chains. These ideas can be used in communities throughout the US to recruit volunteers to serve as tutors, mentors and caring adults in the lives of high poverty youth, who also help support and sustain the organizations that are needed to foster these connections.
Listen to the presentation, then bookmark it, and draw from the ideas on a continuous basis as you recruit youth and volunteers and attempt to keep them connected for multiple years. As you succeed you transform the lives of youth, and of the volunteers who become involved.
The presentation is drawn from a collection of FREE, and low-cost, illustrated essays posted in the library at http://www.tutormentorexchange.net/library
Who Should Attend:
Leaders, organizers, staff of volunteer-based youth serving organizations should attend. School leaders who want to support growth of neighborhood tutor/mentor and learning programs should attend. Company HR managers who want to encourage employee involvement as part of their own talent development strategies should also attend. Finally volunteers, who seek transformative opportunities, and an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of at-risk young people, should also attend.
Language of instruction: English