As fresh eyes here at Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection, I am tasked with learning the organizations and my role in them. On the one hand, I want to get to know our students and volunteers of which there are more than 150 combined, and on the other hand, I want to understand concepts in the field of tutoring and mentoring and how our work - past, present, and future - fits into that conversation.
Though such an orientation may seem daunting, I am well positioned for a swift familiarization. Resources here are endless! Cabrini Connections' historical record is exhaustive. More than 60 students and volunteers have been showcased in our spotlight, and I have already met several of them as they frequent our center over the summer. The Tutor/Mentor Connection web site is an invaluable asset. You can search an interactive map to find locations of tutoring and mentoring programs in the Chicago area. Mike has created a gallery of maps that look at relationships between poverty, community resources, school performance, and locations of non-school tutoring/mentoring facilities for K-12 students.
The greatest wealth of resources can be found in the Tutor/Mentor Learning Network, a collection of articles, links, news, maps, and more, all related to volunteer-based tutoring and mentoring. I encourage you to check it out. If you are unsure where to begin, start by skimming the various sections. Find a topic that interests you. Explore the articles section to get background on the subject. Use the program locator and maps area to find real programs and statistics to inform your findings. As a newcomer myself, I understand that the information can be overwhelming, but I am also proof that with a little persistence, you can learn a lot. I am really starting to understand the value of tutor/mentor programs. I hope you can too!