Thursday, September 13, 2018

Chronic School Absences - Interactive map

The map at the left is a screen shot of this page, which host an interactive data map that shows chronic school absence rages for areas as small as a single school.

This article provides a great tutorial on how to use this resource.

I zoomed into Chicago and could have created an even closer view of any part of Chicago. However, this resource covers the entire country.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Building Networks of Support - Role of Faith Communities

The goal of the articles on this blog and the Tutor/Mentor Blog is to influence what other people do to build and sustain mentor-rich non-school programs where volunteer tutors and mentors help kids move through school and into jobs, over many years of support.

In this graphic you can see a small map of Chicago inserted at the bottom, with  high poverty areas highlighted. Comprehensive, mentor-rich programs are needed in every one of these areas.

I focus on roles business, hospitals, universities and faith groups can take to make great programs available in more places and in this article I'm introducing a new resource that shows faith groups in different zip codes of Chicago.


This map was created using the interactive map on the ARDA (Association of Religious Data Archives) web site.  This map view is showing the area around the 60640 zip code in Chicago.

The ARDA Research Hub includes this data map and a huge library of additional research.


Here's a second map, showing the area around the 60651 zip code, which is the Austin community area of Chicago.  There are literally hundreds of faith based groups on this map. On the graphic I'm pointing to a button you can click to get more information about the area highlighted.  At the top of the graphic I'm pointing to where you enter a zip code (any from the entire US) to find data showing faith groups in that zip code.  Spend time getting to know the site. It looks like a great resource.

Below is another map, created using the map of Chicago tutor/mentor programs that I host.  In this map I'm also showing the Austin area, along with Humboldt Park and West Garfield Park.


On this map I am showing the number of high poverty kids, age 6-17, in each of these community areas. The green icons on the map are non-school tutor and/or mentor programs in my database.

Now, if you compare my map to the map showing faith groups, you'll see that there are dozens of places where kids and volunteers could be meeting as part of organized, on-going, tutor/mentor programs.

Below are two more maps showing the Austin area. On these the blue boxes are locations of churches where mentoring programs were operating around 2011 and 12.  These never made it into my database and I can't find evidence (web sites) showing that programs are operating in these areas.


My goal is that leaders in the faith community, in hospitals, colleges and/or businesses, or even politics, use my maps and other information on my web sites, as part of a process that identifies existing programs and then draws regular, on-going attention to them, helping each attract volunteers, ideas and dollars, so youth in each program have the best possible help moving through school and into adult lives.  

Below is a presentation that shows a role faith leaders could be taking:

I've shared this since 1999 but still don't know if anyone is actually applying these ideas. However, as long as the daily news keeps reminding me of the need for support systems that help guide kids to positive life choices and adult lives where they can raise their own kids free of poverty, I'll keep sharing these ideas and resources.

If you look at the Tags on the right side of this blog you can find other articles that I've written on this topic.

If you want to help me do this, please visit this page and use the PayPal to send me a contribution.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Citizens Police Data Project - Use As Resource

Below is the home page image from the Chicago Police Data Project, created by the Invisible Institute to collect and publish information about police misconduct in Chicago.

Visit this page and view the video that shows how this information can be used.

Over the past few weeks I've posted a few stories on the Tutor/Mentor blog showing other data platforms, such as Healthy Chicago 2.0 and DuPage Impact.

Click here, here, here and here to see three recent articles.

The common theme of all of these is that poverty concentrations on the West and South parts of Chicago show many indicators that people need extra help from public and private services.

I've posted more than 150 stories since 2005 on the Tutor/Mentor blog where I point to violence in Chicago in an effort to motivate more people to help mentor-rich, non-school youth programs grow in these areas. 

I can't do this alone. I invite others to use my stories as a template, and these platforms that I point to, and create your own map stories. If enough of us do this daily or weekly perhaps we'll be able to influence what power brokers do in Chicago to help fill these map-areas with a wide range of needed supports for youth and families.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Use this map and list to find volunteer based tutor and mentor programs in Chicago

Since 1993 the Tutor/Mentor Connection has been maintaining a list of Chicago area non-school tutoring and/or mentoring organizations and sharing this information in an effort to help existing programs attract a more consistent flow of needed resources, while also helping leaders identify places where more programs are needed.  In 2011 the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC was created to continue this service.

You can find contact information for nearly 200 Chicago area youth serving programs by browsing the Chicago Program Links list. You can also use the map, shown below, to determine what groups operate in different parts of Chicago...or near where you live, work, or along the route you travel as you do to and from work every day.  The program links list is also organized by sections of the city and suburbs, for the same purpose.



This map can also be seen here.

If  you click on an icon you can find the organization's name and their web site. Copy and paste the web address into your browser and you can learn more about the program, depending on how well the web site communicates the program purpose, history and design. Below is a JPG showing what the map looks like when open opened.



Some of the locations on this map are headquarters sites of organizations that offer community based mentoring (mentors meet with kids at different places), or are organizations with many different sites where they offer services. Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago and Working in the Schools (WITS) are two who fit these descriptions. You'd need to go to their web sites to see their lists showing locations where they are active.

This information can also be a starting point for others to get to know these organizations better, to help each of them attract needed resources, and to help share ideas across different programs so all will improve.

This map replaces an interactive Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator developed by the Tutor/Mentor Connection between 2004 and 2009. Since 2013 I've not had funds or technology support to  update the site and in August 2018 the link to Google maps stopped working.

In this section and this section of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Planning Wiki you can read the history, goals and current status, for building a map-based tutor/mentor program database.  Such a platform can be applied in any city to support the growth of needed services in all high poverty areas, thus volunteers, partners and financial support can come from any place to help this work become a reality.

Until I'm able to get the original program locator working properly again, you can still use the Chicago programs list and map shown above to seek out existing programs where you can offer your support or try to enroll a student.


I depend on contributions to maintain this list of programs, the Tutor/Mentor Connection web library, my blogs, etc.

Please make a contribution so I can keep this information freely available to all.  Visit this page to find an address and a PayPal button.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Tutor/Mentor Program Locator Not Working. Use This.

I'm sad to report that as of yesterday the interactive search page, and interactive map pages of the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, is no longer connecting to Google maps, and thus not working.

If you browse back through articles written on this blog since 2008, or on the Tutor/Mentor blog, you'll see many examples of how I've used the Program Locator to create map stories, and how I've tried to teach others to use this.

The Program Locator not working is part of a larger on-going problem that has grown since 2011. I don't have a source of funding or technology/coding support to update the sites and/or fix problems like this.   I keep looking for new partners and/or investors, in Chicago or in any other major city in the world, who might want to take part ownership of the work I've been doing, to apply the ideas to their own community.  If you know such people, please point them to this blog and to my profile on LinkedIn.

In the meantime you can still view locations of Chicago non-school,  youth serving organizations on a map, and browse my list of more than 200 Chicago area programs, by visiting this page.

You can also visit this concept map and find several sites that you can search for contact information about tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and other US cities.

I started using maps in 1993 and have always been dependent on volunteers who could had the skills to use GIS mapping technology and/or who could put our maps on interactive web sites. I've never had the funding needed to do all that I was trying to do, nor to consistently do any of this work. However, I keep sharing the vision for the Program Locator on several wiki pages.

Vision for use of Geographic Maps - click here
Program Locator Database - overview
Vision for a future program locator - click here

Friday, July 20, 2018

Elections coming - Vote for People Using Maps in their Leadership

Il 4th Congressional District
The Tutor/Mentor Connection started using maps in 1994 to help leaders understand where non-school, volunteer-based tutor, mentor and learning programs were most needed, and where existing programs were located.

This blog was created in 2008 to share maps that we were able to created between then and 2011.

 I've encouraged politicians to use maps since we launched this strategy.  Sadly, I've never seen this happen consistently.

Yesterday I had another opportunity, when I had a brief discussion with a leading candidate for the Illinois 4th Congressional District election in November.  Above is a map of the district. Below is one of many presentations I've created showing uses of maps:




See more articles and ideas for using maps on this page of Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site. 

Browse past articles on this blog and the Tutor/Mentor blog to see ways maps can be embedded into stories.

Help me keep the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC resources and stories like this on line. Make contribution using PayPal form on this page

Interested in helping me rebuild and update this resource? Introduce yourself with comment or connect with me on Twitter @tutormentorteam or on Linkedin.