Monday, February 22, 2010

What Makes a Tutoring and Mentoring Program - This Video Answers that

If you read the other blogs of my colleagues at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection, you may have seen the blog post by our president and CEO, Dan Bassill on this video by Breakthrough Urban Ministries. I had the great fortune of visiting Breakthrough Urban Ministries last summer. You can read about my visit here.

When people ask me what makes a tutoring and mentoring program, I could go on forever about how they're important and what they do. However, this video succinctly describes the importance of tutoring and mentoring programs in just seven and a half minutes. It's well worth the watch.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Tutor/Mentor Conference Needs Your Help!

The May 2010 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference is well under way. The conference planning committee already has had one meeting and lots of great ideas were shared.

However, in order for the conference to be a success, we need help from sponsors who will support us giving people scholarships, and providing food, beverages and materials for the conference. Our Tutor/Mentor Conference is not a unique one. Mentoring partnerships throughout the country have mentoring conferences every year. These conferences are well-funded by sponsors who believe in the possibilities and solutions that mentoring creates.

For example, Mentoring Partnerships of Minnesota has a mentoring conference every year. They also have a training institute that offers workshops to help mentoring programs become the best they possibly can be. Mentoring Partnerships of Minnesota is generously sponsored by several well-known national companies that are based out of Minnesota, such as 3M and Target.

Another example is Washington State Mentors who also put on trainings and events similar to the Tutor/Mentor Conference. Washington State Mentors benefits from hometown supporters, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as Bank of America and Costco.

Why can't something like this happen in Illinois. First of all there is no Illinois Mentoring Partnership. The Tutor/Mentor Connection is actually the closest that we have in Illinois (that we know of at least) to a mentoring partnership. So why don't local or national corporations that are based in Chicago do the same thing to sponsor the Tutor/Mentor Conference? Hopefully, we'll be able to show what other states have done to foster partnerships and help mentoring (and tutoring in our case) programs become better and convince these corporations to sponsor the Tutor/Mentor Conference.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The May 2010 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference is Under Way

Does it seem like the November 2009 Tutor/Mentor Conference just happened? I know, me too. But, the May 2010 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference is under way. This year it will be held at Loyola University Chicago's Lakeshore Campus in Rogers Park. The keynotes will be held in the Simpson Hall Multi-Purpose Room just off the corner of Sheridan Rd. and Sheridan Rd. (I know). Workshops will be held in classrooms nearby in a location to be announced.

Right now, we want YOU to be involved in the planning of the conference. If you would like to be a part of the conference planning committee, leave a comment in the comments section below. You can also join the discussion about the conference on our Tutor/Mentor Connection Ning Site.

If you would like to submit a proposal for a workshop or a panel, you can submit a proposal here. You can also register online here.

I have a great feeling about this conference being the best one yet. But, we need your help and input. Get involved and make the Tutor/Mentor Conference the best one for you as well.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cabrini Madness - Support Passion's Team

If you're a regular visitor to this blog, you might have noticed the little basketball cartoon in the upper right hand corner (it was a graphic designed by our tech club!). If you were extra curious and clicked on it, you would have been redirected to our Cabrini Madness information page.

So what is Cabrini Madness? Well, in an effort to get everyone (students, volunteers, staff, board members, volunteer coordinators, club leaders, and outside friends and family) involved in raising money for Cabrini Connections Tutor/Mentor Connection, and to take advantage of the excitement of March Madness, we have created Cabrini Madness. Cabrini Madness is a bracket tournament-style fundraiser where teams are formed (there needs to be at least one student, one volunteer, one staff member/board member/volunteer coordinator or club leader, and one outside person. Teams can be up to 10 people), and compete against each other to see who can raise the most money.

You can see which teams are raising the most money on our Cabrini Madness Give Forward Page. You'll also see that my team, Passion's team (why Passion's team do you ask? Well, our team leader is student, Passion Tucker, and we all thought her name was too beautiful and awesome for it not to be our team name) hasn't raised any money yet. You can help us out by donating to our give forward site at the link above or by writing a check payable to "Cabrini Connections" and noting that it's going to Passion's team and mailing it to:
Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection
800 W. Huron, First Floor
Chicago, IL 60642

If you would like to help Passion's team fundraise in any way, please leave a comment in the comments section.