Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Network Building and Mapping Ideas

Over many years of recruiting volunteers and donors, I've found that people over simplify what we're doing as the short term act of tutoring, or homework help, rather than the long-term process of building student aspirations and expanding the network of adults who help kids to careers.

Thus, I've started creating diagrams to illustrate my ideas. The one on this page shows how volunteers, leaders, friends and/or donors can connect people in their network to Cabrini Connections and other tutor/mentor programs, and to information that will help these friends do more to help our kids at Cabrini Connections, or kids living in high poverty in other neighborhoods, or other cities.

This spring I've started using concept maps, a free on-line took, that enables you to visualize ideas. Here's one that illustrates what I mean by a comprehensive, long-term support system.

I'm always learning new ways to express ideas, and new ways to engage students and volunteers. Thus, recently I was showns some concept maps created by youth in middle school and high school. These map out their home school study strategy, and serve as a portfolio (log in as guest) of what they have accomplished.

This is something that individual pairs of teens and volunteers at Cabrini Connections could be doing, or that a technology team could do to map their strategy.

I encourage you to take a look at these links and see how you can apply them to your tutoring, mentoring, and motivation work.

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