Below is the Annual Plan that Dan Bassill developed for the Cabrini Connections Tutor/Mentor Program in Chicago during his tenure as founder, president and CEO from 1992-2011. This information can be used by any tutor/mentor program including future leaders of Cabrini Connections to build and strengthen volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in more places.
Editing will be done soon.
CABRINI CONNECTIONS Tutor/Mentor Program*
Leaders of Cabrini Connections are invited to share in building and maintaining this annual plan. (It has not been fully updated since before 2003.)
In planning activities, always ask "how does this activity contribute to the goals of the http://www.cabriniconnections.net/success.html strategy. Every activity should support one or more of the steps that lead a youth from 7th grade to a career.
Read the Jim Collins pamphlet titled: *Good to Great & the Social Sector* as you plan events for the coming year. What will motivate a teen or volunteer to be at Cabrini Connections every week? What will motivate them to participate in learning and elearning? What will motivate them to come back next year and the following year?
*The answers can be measured in these statistical goals*
a) 75 student on roster by Nov 1
b) 80% or better weekly attendance average for teens and volunteers
c) 85% of teens and volunteers who are on roster on Nov 1 still active on May 1
d) 85% of teens active May 1, on roster for following fall; 65% of volunteers return following year
e) Growing percent of current and alumni teens and volunteers participate in on-line activities, as measured by page visits and comments posted.
Keep these measures and the Good to Great concept in mind in planning every activity:
Rev. Jan. 21, 2010, by Dan
*IT IS "IMPERATIVE THAT SOCIETY PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES…" *
Research conducted by the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago adds support for the Tutor/Mentor Connection network. We agree with Joan Wynn, Robert Halpern and their fellow researchers that it is "imperative that society provide opportunities through which children can build the capacities and skills they need to function adequately as young people and later as adults." And that "over the long term, particularly for school-age and older children, the potential for social participation is often what sustains a child's effort to overcome obstacles." Studies we have researched and quoted from include:
• "Redefining Child and Family Services: Directions for the Future" by Joan Wynn, Joan Costello, Robert Halpern, and Harold Richman , Dec. 1992
*LOST OPPORTUNITIES DURING THE OUT-OF-SCHOOL HOURS*
Each school day, America's 20 million young adolescents decide how they will spend at least five (40%) of their waking hours when they are not in school. For many, these hours harbor both risk and opportunity. On weekends and during the summer months, American youth have even greater amounts of discretionary time.
For those teenagers without adult supervision, the out-of-school hours constitute high-risk time for high-risk behavior. Young people left on their own or with peers stand a significantly greater chance of becoming involved in substance abuse, sexual activity leading to unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, crime, and violence than their peers who are engaged in constructive activities. For low-income adolescents, economic disadvantages and the stresses of life in their neighborhoods are exacerbated by the lack of places that provide safe havens, attractive opportunities, and trustworthy adults.
_From A MATTER OF TIME, Risk and Opportunity in the Nonschool Hours. Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development. Carnegie Corporation of New York._
Visit these links and see more reasons why tutor/mentor programs are needed.
CABRINI CONNECTIONS, founded October, 1992
Cabrini Connections, a not-for-profit corporation, was formed in October of 1992 by a team of volunteers with a long history of tutoring elementary students of Cabrini-Green. The group's goal to provide similar programs for junior high and high school students was launched in January 1993 and called Kids' Connection.
Since 1993 the program has enrolled more than 530 teens for 1 to 7 consecutive years, in addition to more than 650 volunteers. (for a detailed history, see below)
*Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC)*
The people who formed Cabrini Connections, including founder Dan Bassill, had been leaders of the volunteer based 2nd-6th grade tutoring/mentoring program since 1974. They knew that there was no comprehensive city-wide understanding of how many tutor/mentor programs existed, who was served, or where programs were most needed, nor was there a strategy to help existing programs get resources. They recognized that in creating the Kids Connection in 1993, they would be competing for resources as just one more tutor/mentor program serving a few more kids.
Thus, the founders also developed the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC), which was a vision to share experiences, learn effective techniques from others, and serve as a catalyst for expanding and improving after-school tutor/mentor opportunities for students throughout Chicago—and America. Since January 1994, the T/MC has developed a wide range of services and has become recognized around the world. Thus, in 2004 the Board of Directors changed the official name of the organization to include Tutor/Mentor Connection.
We are now officially known as *Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection*
Read more about the T/MC in separate Strategic Planning Documents. The rest of this plan is devoted to the Cabrini Connections Tutor/Mentor Program.
In the book, _The Kindness of Strangers_, Marc Freedman talks about the potential and the difficulties of mentoring and suggests that without infrastructure and support for mentors and mentoring programs, the movement will never reach its potential. Freedman listed a number of ways mentoring was falling short of its potential:
- missing infrastructure
- poor program models
- missing follow-up
- emphasis on marketing and recruitment instead of program support
- poor or no coordination
- matches made and then abandoned by program
- conducted in isolation
- few programs with resources to serve mentors as well as mentees
- missing operational expenses
- missing knowledge regarding effective practices
- little appreciation of how hard it is to put mentoring into action
We recognize these challenges and attempt to overcome them in the operation of Cabrini Connections (and through the T/MC).
*Services provided by the Cabrini Connections Tutor/Mentor Program*
Cabrini Connections builds student participation in weekly tutor/mentor sessions, then provides support to help students progress through high school. The primary bond for each student is an adult volunteer, many who stay with the same child for several years. Once students participate regularly, program activities provide a safe place for them to go after-school, maintain and build interest in school, improve study habits and grades, boost self-esteem, broaden each student's concept of opportunity and stimulate creativity. The organization also provides a regular schedule of field trips and guest speakers exposing students to career opportunities and college scholarship opportunities.
*Who is served by Cabrini Connections*
When the organization was formed, it was an outgrowth of the 2nd to 6th grade tutor/mentor program that had been hosted by Montgomery Ward since 1965. Thus, Cabrini Connections was formed to give the graduates of the original program a place to go to received continued support from 7th grade to careers.
Most of the teens in Cabrini Connections live in or near the Cabrini-Green neighborhood. However, some come from more distant parts of the city as a result of a) kids from Cabrini Green moving to other neighborhoods and continuing with the program. These kids often recruited others from their neighborhood/family to join the program; b) kids who had very persistent parents/guardians who talked their way into the program
More than 75% of the youth live in families below the poverty line. 90% are African America, 5-8% are Latino, and 2% are Caucasian.
Numerous reports have shown the failure of American schools to produce enough literate, self-sufficient graduates. High drop-out rates, inadequate schools, uninvolved parents, and unchallenged students are common. Yet, our democracy and our economy require an educated population. Being literate enhances the potential for responsible decision making. It allows one to assess information, to make thoughtful judgments about the opinions of others, and to actively participate in community decisions.
In December 1995, Voices for Illinois Children released its _1995 Illinois Kids Count_ report, which advocates for the establishment of one-on-one relationships between adult role models and children in need, and uses Cabrini Connections as an example of the type of programs which should be duplicated.
Cabrini Connections is about children and learning. It's about tutoring and mentoring programs that provide urban youth positive experiences, role models and alternatives to the streets. It's about linking volunteers and corporations with children in need, and bringing programs and committed people from all walks of life together to turn our communities around. In short, Cabrini Connections is about making a difference.
Cabrini Connections believes that after-school, tutoring/mentoring programs, where children work with adult role models in one-on-one and group activities, can be one means of giving children hope, support and learning tools and building self-esteem and confidence necessary for students to succeed in school. "The nation cannot afford to raise another generation of young adolescents without the supervision, guidance, and preparation for life that caring adults and strong community organizations once provided and again can provide."
Tutoring and mentoring programs have great potential. They can help in many ways:
. Maintain and build children's interest in learning
. Keep children in school
. Keep children off the streets and in productive activities
. Improve grades
. Broaden each child's experience base
. Stimulate creativity
. Enhance social and problem-solving skills
. Develop productive adults
. Expand each child's options for a quality life
A first-of-a kind controlled study performed by Philadelphia-based Public/ Private Ventures (P/PV) was released in 1995. This study shows that middle school-age boys and girls who meet regularly with an adult are much less likely to become involved with drugs and alcohol. They also do better in school and have better relationships with their peers than do non-mentored youth.
The report, "Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters", by P/PV, also reports, that “it has to be done right to get those results. That means thorough screening and training of volunteers, careful matching and extensive supervision of the entire process.”
A second study of a total quality tutoring, mentoring and school-to-work program, the Quantum Opportunity Program, was released by the Center for Human Resources at Brandeis University in September 1995. This study reports that “it is possible to make a quantum difference in the lives of at-risk youth. …but it takes a critical mass of service, support, nurturing, incentives, creativity, caring, compassion, and especially patience.” This study reports that the “impacts on young people gain strength over time”.
The Quantum Opportunities Program (QOP) is an innovative four-year, year-round pilot program that provided learning opportunities, development opportunities, service opportunities and summer jobs to small groups of youth from families receiving public assistance.
The program combines and creatively applies strategies that work:
• QOP assumes that these kids can make it and are worth the investment
• QOP recognizes that multi-year, year-round, multi-faceted investments are needed in education, personal development, and community service.
• QOP incorporates significant and sustained adult mentoring, counseling, and tough love.
• QOP offers financial incentives to young people and staff.
Through this four-year pilot program and rigorous evaluation, The Center for Human Resources at Brandeis University, learned that it is possible to make a quantum difference in the lives of these youths. They learned that it takes a critical mass of service, support, nurturing, incentives, creativity, caring, compassion, and especially patience. And, they learned that the impacts on young people gain strength over time. The real key to this program is the philosophy and the persistence of the staff involved, and their dogged determination to enable and encourage these young people to succeed.
This is an important lesson for policy makers and many volunteers, who customarily seek immediate feedback about program success or failure. Premature examination would have labeled this program a failure.
What are the net impacts of this program? It works. These young people will stick with the program, especially if the adults stick with them. In one pilot site, after four years of program operation, 24 of the original 25 youth were still actively involved!
_(another program that we model ourselves after is the Center for Student Aspirations )
The elements which made these programs successful are the fundamentals which Cabrini Connections includes in its own tutor/mentor program. Furthermore, as the lead research group for the Tutor/Mentor Connection, we have an advantage over either of these successful programs. We are constantly able to compare the work we do to the best work happening around the country in a constant process of improving the quality of the programs we offer to our Cabrini Connections students.
*CABRINI CONNECTIONS ORGANIZATION*
Cabrini Connections relies on a combination of paid and volunteer staff members to organize and operate the program's wide variety of activities. Past experience has shown that volunteers who go beyond the basic tutor commitment and help build the program, are much more satisfied and committed to the goals and results we deliver. However, experience also shows that the organization depends on a dedicated and experienced cadre of professional staff to provide continuity and to help each volunteer have a successful experience.
Cabrini Connections is committed to quality and committed to involving everyone (staff, volunteers, students) in achieving the goals of the organization. (The Operating Philosophy)
While most contributors to Cabrini Connections success are volunteers, with life commitments of higher priority than those normally attached to volunteer work, Cabrini Connections itself is a business, where a commitment to excellence, and an urgency of purpose, determine how successful it is in achieving its mission.
It is critical that staff and volunteers understand this commitment and that every member of the organization learn to contribute as much as they can, within this framework. Simply put, once a commitment to perform a task, paid or volunteer, is accepted, it is expected that the task will be performed to a high standard of excellence, as one would expect in any work environment.
To be successful, in a volunteer-based organization, leaders must work to minimize over commitment and maximize clarity of purpose, communication and expectations, so that few volunteers or staff are ever placed in circumstances where they cannot achieve their commitments, and that failure becomes a cause for disillusionment or departure from the Cabrini Connections organization.
A second premise behind this philosophy is that the work of Cabrini Connections is long-term and extends far beyond the geographic boundaries of Cabrini-Green. There are millions of young people in America who need the support of mentors and tutors such as intended by Cabrini Connections. And in neighborhoods where this need is the greatest, a system of support needs to be constructed that parallels the child's development from birth to a point where he/she is effectively anchored in mainstream America.
This means that Cabrini Connections seeks to build a commitment among its students and volunteers to continue the work of the organization for the rest of a lifetime, even beyond the time the person is physically connected to Cabrini Connections. Once a Boy Scout, always a Boy Scout ; once a Marine, always a Marine, are the best analogies to represent this goal. When a volunteer joins Cabrini Connections they do so with an unfocused commitment to help a child. Their experience with this organization, no matter how long or short, should not diminish this commitment, but should build it and show means whereby that commitment can be manifested wherever the person travels in a lifetime and through whatever business, civic and or family role the person finds him/herself in.
This same commitment extends to students who benefit from Cabrini Connections programs. Even while receiving benefit it is the goal of the organization that these children begin to help other students achieve personal growth and success. And once established in mainstream America, it is expected that alumni of Cabrini Connections will serve, with volunteer alumni, in a growing cadre of experienced volunteers, leaders, donors and advocates to help a growing number of children escape the cycle of poverty and hopelessness the are born to.
Most volunteers begin their participation in program leadership as a member of one or more of the Volunteer Committees which are empowered to spearhead the planning, development and evaluation of each program categories. These committees are given great latitude and responsibility in developing projects, and it is from their efforts that the program maintains a constant high level of creativity, enthusiasm and effectiveness. Volunteers are recruited on a continuous basis to serve on one of these committees. Interested volunteers may call 312-492-9614 for additional information on volunteer committees.
*IMPLEMENTATION OF PHILOSOPHY*
For each task, assignment and/or responsibility within Cabrini Connections, the person accepting responsibility must be able to clearly write the
• Steps to achieve the goal
• Help needed, if any
• Time frame in which goal is to be accomplished
• How the job/task relates to other jobs/tasks within the organization's structure to achieve its overall goals
For instance, the weekly role of Attendance Check-In, relates to
• Personal recognition/self-image - the most important first exposure of any student/volunteer to Cabrini Connections. A positive reception, with name and status recognition, is the foundation upon all other success
• Communication of weekly strategies to volunteer and student, which builds satisfaction with the organization
• Provides accurate records for program evaluation, planning and fund raising and pr activities
• Provides information for effective follow-up with students, parents, volunteers and/or schools
*PLANNING — THE KEY TO EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATION*
A commitment to excellence requires a common approach to how members of the organization define needs and propose solutions. At Cabrini Connections, this is intended to become a natural and on-going process, applied to each task/job within the organization, by each member of the organization, from student through CEO.
The planning steps are a continuous process of evaluation, challenge and improvement that seeks always to better the organization and is never satisfied to remain at past performance levels. This requires
• Research & Development - through the T/MC, Cabrini Connections members are given continuous access to examples of successful practices of other tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and nationally. Regular review and comparison of these programs to Cabrini Connections needs/programs, always looking to improve the work being done by ourselves.
• Evaluation of current programs/structure and results. We must find ways to quantify our results in ways that week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year comparisons can be made. This allows us to challenge our premises and practices and provides focus on areas which are working well and might to be duplicated and areas not working as well as hoped which need to be improved or restructured.
• What if…/Proposal of new solutions/programs. New ideas are encouraged, weather they be for small changes, major overhauls or additions and/or subtractions. However, those which presented in a written format that has been thought through and challenged by the presenter, as if he/she were the organization's CEO and the person responsible for implementing them, have the best chance of acceptance and implementation. This process also allows that a good idea, that is not immediately accepted, can be stored and shared and perhaps resurrected at a later date when need and/or resources are more favorable to its acceptance.
• Articulation. We must be able to clearly state any job/goal/idea within these guides. This is the only way others can be recruited to help achieve the goal.
• What is our mission?
• How do we define success?
• How do we get there, step by step?
• Define policy, where appropriate, to determine how we get there?
• Capacity/Resource Building. An ability and commitment to recruit volunteers from within and outside of the organization will ultimately determine our success. Each individual has limited individual capacity to help the organization meet its goals, defined by time, other responsibilities and financial limitations. Each person who is able to recruit additional people and delegate responsibility will leverage his/her own capacities over and over again.
R&D/F&L = success. Recruit and delegate. Follow-up and lead.
The organization must recruit to its leadership, paid and volunteer, individuals who can succeed in this capacity.
Since the organizations policy is to recruit its leaders from within, an ability to recognize and nurture this talent, beginning with entry-level volunteers is critical and should be esteemed.
• Training - of staff and leadership volunteers. The organization cannot assume that its operating philosophy, at the board of directors level or at the program level, is one that is automatically understood. The organization must be committed to devote time and resources, plus continued energy, to building an organization-wide understanding and commitment and ability to implement this philosophy.
• Program design/recruitment - As each program and/or project is developed for Cabrini Connections, each of the above steps must be incorporated into the steps of building the program.
• Implementation - While these steps may seem bureaucratic, the actual goal is that Cabrini Connections operate in a fast-paced, non-bureaucratic manner. As the steps become second nature, they become internalized in how members of the organization determine needs, develop solutions, obtain approval, design and implement programs.
• Evaluation - As long as meaningful evaluation is built into each program, task, job, there is little danger of the organization moving quickly into new directions, then becoming handicapped by continuing in directions that clearly do not work or turn out to be inappropriate to the mission of Cabrini Connections. Evaluation, beginning with process and comparison to working models, and continuing with quantifiable measures, will provide the on-going tools from which future growth will develop.
*CABRINI CONNECTIONS GOALS — AND RESULTS*
Our overall goal is that each student who becomes a member of Cabrini Connections grow, with our help, to become a successful adult. Some of the 7th graders who joined us between 1993 and 1998, are now finishing college and entering careers. More than 400 are still in the pipeline and more than 75 will be part of the 2008-09 program.
Cabrini Connections web site (http://www.cabriniconnections.net), newsletters, handbooks and its annual report show a variety of activities which we believe will provide learning and motivation opportunities which will achieve these goals. However, the organization sets year-to-year quantifiable goals and looks at these results to see if we are heading in the right direction.
Listed below are some of these year-to-year goals for the Cabrini Connections Tutor/Mentor Connection. Results are also shown, where available.
• Maintain or increase student enrollment from May one of each year - through the beginning of the following school year (space at 800 W. Huron limits participation to no more than 80 teens. _However, we are considering strategies that recruit alumni to some of the arts/technology clubs. We are also beginning to consider the possibility of opening similar sites in other high needs locations where no other organizations are filling the void, and where business sponsors might support such a decision.
• Maintain a one-to-one ratio of volunteers to students -
• 60% of volunteers from previous year return for fall —
• 90% of kids from previous year return for following fall start-up
• 75% participation of volunteers for entire school year
• 10% of volunteers with 3+ years of experience
• 80% participation of kids for entire school year
• 85% retention of volunteers and students from start to end of each year —
• More than 10 volunteers involved in key leadership positions
It is the responsibility of Cabrini Connections staff to report progress on these goals monthly.
*_Note (consider putting all of the background info and operating philosophy in a separate appendix /document)_*
*CABRINI CONNECTIONS, TUTOR/MENTOR PROGRAM*
_(NOTE: Until 2005 the tutor/mentor program was officially called Kids' Connection, but generically understood to be "Cabrini Connections". The Tutor/Mentor Connection was poorly understood by the donor community, who in many cases perceive its role to be only in support of Cabrini Connections. Thus, the organization has officially added *Tutor/Mentor Connection* to the name, and will be known as Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection in future planning, marketing and promotions. These changes need to be reflected in all planning documents, such as this one.)
Cabrini Connections operates an after school tutor/mentor program in Cabrini-Green, the Cabrini Connections Tutor/Mentor Program (CC), where we now have more than 75 teens participating in a variety of different club formats.
The Cabrini Connections center at 800 W. Huron is a fully equipped Computer Technology Center. Youth have access to more than 20 networked Macintosh and PC computers, which are connected to the Internet through a wireless DSL internet hub.
The 2009-10 enrollment goal is to have 75 to 80 youth on the roster by Nov. 1. This roster is expected to include six seniors(add numbers for other grades)
*Cabrini Connections offers a variety of activities designed to motivate students to participate in learning and enrichment activities which offer entertainment value while building self-esteem and basic skills.* (In the past we have called this Total Quality Mentoring. Total Quality Mentoring (TQM) visions schools and afterschool tutor/mentor program as DISTRIBUTION CENTERS of learning and opportunity, mentor-rich environments where a variety of learning concepts and opportunities can be available to help children become a successful adults. The Quantum Opportunity Program, reviewed by Brandies University, is a TQM model. So is Cabrini Connections. )
The process of mentoring a youth from 7th grade to when they are starting a job/career (or age 25) is one that repeats the TQM concepts every year. We developed a Success Steps Strategy (http://www.cabriniconnections.net/7-success-steps) to show these steps. They recognize that our teens are volunteers, and that our ability to have an impact on them depends on our ability to compete with all of the other influences that will be attempting to attract their attention away from Cabrini Connections, school and caeers as they grow older.
Cabrini Connections has been organized to develop a partnership between volunteers, local schools, corporate sponsors and Chicago area universities to develop strategies and activities which draw students into regular participation, expose them to a range of experience and enrichment activities, motivate them to accept a greater responsibility for their future, and provide support to help them achieve a more successful future.
Cabrini Connections is designed to attract students and volunteers by offering a variety of "Club/Activity" formats as well as College and Career workshops, trips and speaker presentations, at different times and on different days of the week. Each is intended to encourage initial participation in group, one-on-one mentor and/or tutoring and homework activities. Once a student begins participating regularly he/she becomes part of our Career Success Steps Program, which is our long-term action plan for helping each child achieve his/her potential.
The activities offered at Cabrini Connections are intended to continue from year to year. However, since they are only offered if there is volunteer leadership and/or funds to support staff leadership, some of these change every few years.
*The current schedule of activities/clubs includes:*
Students and the volunteers working with them in one-on-one tutoring/mentoring, meet every Wednesday/Thursday from mid Sept. to the end of May from 6:00 until 8:00 pm. at the 800 W. Huron location of CabriniConnections in Chicago, IL. Volunteers focus on tutoring/mentoring and enrichment activities. Students receive support for homework, school projects and personal development. This is the primary entry point for most students. Some of the students who participate on Wednesday or Thursday also participate regularly in other programs listed in the following paragraphs.
The Wednesday/Thursday sessions also include speakers and writing/research programs designed to build participation and develop self-image and confidence.
*Extra Learning and Enrichment*
Creative arts projects, workshops and community service projects also are included to provide a changing framework and focus for the group's activities throughout the year to keep interest high and to build conversation and research topics for participants.
We feel that arts, writing and dance programs can help improve speaking, reading, listening, writing skills and vocabulary. But they also can help enhance the expressive abilities of each young person's face, voice and body, to raise self-esteem, to increase group participation, and to help them learn to process meaning in ways that deepen and widen their comprehension. When students improvise their own dialogue and actions, they practice problem solving and analytical skills. Cognitive challenges include language arts skills, creative thinking, mental imaging and perspective taking.
*Below are some of the clubs that have been offered since 1993*
*Art Club* - The Art Club allows students to show both their creativity and talent through different forms of art. In some cases they paint, do photography, create crafts and they find many ways to express themselves visually. Monday from 5:30-7:00 pm
*Video and Filmmaker's Club - The New and Improved IYP Club that offers students the opportunity to learn and explore all that takes place in front and behind the camera. The group learns a variety of skills that can and should be inside and outside of the program. Monday from 5:30-7:00 pm.
Cabrini Connections Innervisions Youth Productions (IYP) - formed in 1996, is a creative learning project in which students create, write, produce, perform and edit their own videos, working as teams with volutneers from the video and film industry serving as coaches and mentors. The goal of the group is to encourage and teach Cabrini Connections students and volunteers to produce short videos that tell the tutor/mentor story — from the student point of view. These videos are shown at an annual "Film Festival" each spring, and are used by the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in its outreach and communications efforts. Through regular workshops and one-on-one training provided by members of Chicago's film production industry, students will be taught the fundamentals of editing and producing videos and will use existing film, plus new film they create, to produce one video each year, with the competition providing a "completion-date focus". In this process students will learn to be the creator, writer, actor, producer, editor, planner, fund raiser, etc. in an annual process of developing their own video.
The Video Festival program will complement current creative programs, such as WUZ UP, the Requiem Project, and the Saturday Creative Workshop/Improvisation programs. Students will improve writing, critical thinking, and communications skills as the learn the tools of desktop publishing and film creation.
*Tech Club* - Technology has become a necessity in today's world. The Tech Club gives kids online learning and technology experiences that are essential in their journey from school to career. Tuesday from 6-7 pm
*Writing Group* - A hip, new writing group. Each meeting, they share food and stories about our lives! In their circle, there's a lot of heart, a lot of laughs, and lot of personal expression. Wednesday from 5:00-6- pm
*Inactive* WUZ - UP! Student Newsletter (inactive) - on a less formal schedule, another group of students has begun to develop, write and produce a student magazine, titled WUZ UP!. With the support of a Cabrini Connection staff writer, the WUZ UP! team has full control of the input and output of the magazine. The first issue, published in January 1996, received media coverage from WMAQ- TV5 and from CLTV, offering opportunities for students to build self-esteem from their work and confidence from doing live interviews for TV. WUZ UP will be produced quarterly.
*Inactive* - Creative Arts/Drama Club(s), combine the benefits of a one-on-one adult/child mentoring with group creative learning activities. In a variety of programs, students and volunteers meet regularly throughout the school year at the Cabrini Connections in team-workshops, often with guest speakers, where students develop skills in writing, improvisation, acting and video and film production.
*Inactive* Student Leadership College(SLC).
Launched in the summer of 1994, the SLC's goal is to encourage students to take a more active role in the planning process for the Kids' Connection. Increased student involvement has been an objective of Cabrini Connections since its inception. Participation could range from students volunteering on committees to helping with administrative functions, such as maintaining the point system. The college is a 10 week course consisting of leadership training, provided by sources such as the UIC Extension Services, and strategic planning, where students review the goals and objectives of the Kids' Connection and propose student-based activities to further those goals. Students participating in the college were paid a weekly stipend.
In 1995 this program was expanded to included a winter component, with SLC and other Kids' Connection students participating in the Cabrini-Green Project LEAD program. This program is a collaboration with 10 other community youth agencies, where student-lead teams at each agency develop community service projects as part of developing and practicing leadership skills.
*Inactive* Point Bank.
Cabrini Connections approaches it's participation goals in a marketing manner. Therefore, all activities are designed to encourage adults and students to participate. A fundamental part of the student incentive program is the Point Bank, where students earn points for participation, grades and other achievement, then spend those points on field trips, soda, and merchandise which is donated to the program. The Point Bank is managed by a team of volunteers and students who operate the bank, keep track of credits and debits and issue a weekly report showing each students balance sheet.
*Inactive* School-to-work workshops
Helping students find jobs must first include helping students prepare to succeed at jobs. It must also include finding companies willing to look at academics as they look at job performance. The Cabrini Connections Success Steps Committee — made up of employees of American Express, Advanced Personnel and Illinois Masonic Hospital — organized a three-week workshop in May of 1996 to prepare Cabrini students for summer jobs that do more than make money. These workshops will be repeated to a growing number of students in the 1996-97 school year. In these workshops students will learn how to fill-out applications, do mock interviews to learn how to prepare and perform for a job interview, and learn the responsibilities that come with a job and the ways to succeed and hold on to those jobs.
In partnering with companies willing to offer students summer work, the Success Steps concept encourages bosses to also become mentors by stressing school performance, tracking grades and insisting on continued education. — all this in an effort to ensure long-term success.
Guest Speakers -
Each of our 100 volunteers serves as a role model and mentor for every Cabrini Connections student, offering examples of a variety of careers, and education backgrounds. The Success Steps strategy expands on this by inviting additional guest speakers to visit on a regular basis. Speakers have come from IBM, WGN-TV, the Peace Corps, NASA and from a variety of colleges and universities.
*Inactive* A Grassroots Aspen Experience
Up to 5 Cabrini Connections students and one staff/volunteer will be flown to Aspen, a picturesque town high in the Colorado Rockies, for a week to 10 days in the summer and then again for a week in the winter. The Grassroots Aspen Experience is intended to provide youth from America's inner cities and other economically disadvantaged areas with outdoor experiences in the Rocky Mountains. These experiences are designed to develop a heightened sense of self-esteem, and understanding of the possibilities that exist in life and an appreciation for and a sense of responsibility to the environment. Three Cabrini Connections students participated in the 1998 summer program and one will return again for the winter program in January.
Eligibility is determined by student performance in Cabrini Connections, grades, attitude and recommendations from volunteers. Other smaller and emerging clubs are:
*Inactive* Spanish Club
A small group of students is meeting with volunteers on Monday evening to learn Spanish
*Inactive* Girls Only club
A small group of female students is meeting with volunteers from DePaul University on Thursday evening to discuss issues of concern to "girls only"
A small group of male students is meeting with a different team of DePaul University volunteers on Thursday evening to discuss "boys only" issues
As these descriptions show, Cabrini Connections is a collection of learning opportunities designed to capture the imagination of individual children and to use that opening to show the importance of education and to motivate each child to become more and more responsible for his or her own learning. While this planning document contains only a brief description of the structure and goals of each project, individual files are available which provide a history, tracking and on-going goals and results of each of these projects.
Cabrini Connections' leaders review these offerings on an on-going basis to determine their success in attracting student and volunteer participation and to add new offerings as the opportunities are available.
Cabrini Connections was formed in the fall of 1992 by a team of seven volunteers. The first student program was launched in January 1993 and the Thursday Club was launched in August of 1993. The program operated with no paid staff until August 1993 when two part-time employees (16 hr/week each) joined. In June 1993, a full time chief executive officer position was funded (although Dan Bassill had operated in this role since the founding of the organization in October 1992). Since then the program has been able to continually expand the hours and quality of staff time devoted to the Kids' Connection as additional funding became available.
*2010-11 Staff Devoted to Cabrini Connections:*
(Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection has four full-time employees who spit their focus between the Cabrini Connections, the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Fund Raising/Development programs. Interns are also engaged at Cabrini Connections in a variety activities.
Although Cabrini Connections budgets on a calendar basis, Cabrini Connections operates on a school-year calendar. Because staff time is limited, with many staff members serving duo roles as volunteers, and because additional volunteers have significant leadership and work roles in the Cabrini Connections organization, the planning cycle must be one that is entrepreneurial, has accountability, and provides as much structure and lead time as possible for there to be broad contribution, consensus and quality delivery of services. This means that the program follows a calendar cycle for planning, using the steps described above:
Once a year's programs have been launched in September….
• October - May — on-going evaluation of programs against stated objectives, along with review of new ideas which can be considered as add-ons and/or improvements to current activities.
• January - March — informal discussion of programs, with speculation and brainstorming of new programs, enhancements and/or replacements which might be incorporated into the following fall program plan. Begin location of funds for new or enhanced activities and/or staffing.
• April - May — structured meetings between staff, board members, volunteers and management to review ideas, critique programs, postulate new strategies and absorb suggestions from as broad a spectrum of the program's membership, including students and parents, as possible.
• May - June — leadership structure in place along with draft of programs to be developed for fall program plan
• June - July — development of programs, budgets, policy and structure for fall plan
• August — final review of fall plan, beginning of recruiting for students and volunteers
• September — launch programs, begin cycle over
*CABRINI CONNECTIONS CAREER SUCCESS STEPS (CSS)*
The Success Steps program will bridge aspiration and preparation by arranging for kids to partner with volunteers, in business and at colleges, who have jobs in a career path a student is interested in. This partnering will have several stages of development, starting with experience and enrichment field trips, and leading to jobs, career development and in the end, students who have gone through all steps, returning as mentors and role models themselves.
Many of our students have high aspirations to be doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc., but have been doing little of the class preparation needed to qualify for these careers. They do not have enough role models in their every-day lives to see the preparation it takes to succeed, nor do they receive appropriate counseling, at an early enough stage, or frequently enough, to help them prepare more realistically for the careers they aspire to.
The Career Success Steps program is the Cabrini Connections action plan. Once a student begins to attend one of our clubs, he/she becomes part of the CSS process. The goal of Cabrini Connections is to provide one-on-one support for this action plan and to motivate students to continue regular participation with our programs until they complete the cycle.
Our Success Steps are:
1) Build regular participation of youth in weekly tutoring and/or mentoring activities. Youth are volunteers and this is a non school program. Thus, attracting participation and keeping students involved from year to year is not something that can be taken for granted.
2) Build regular participation of adult volunteers who serve as tutors, mentors, organizers, coaches, advocates, fund raisers, and make a long-term commitment to help our teens succeed in school and move to careers.
3) Enrichment/Experience Activities. Field trips to business, college and professional organizations to expose students to the many opportunities they have.
4) Skill Development. We will provide coaching and training so students can succeed in work situations. These successes will encourage our corporate hosts to invest additional resources to help following students, as well. This preparation includes, but is not limited to:
• Interview skill building • Grooming workshops
• Dress for Success • Personal development workshops
• Responsibilities of a job • Punctuality
5) Intern Opportunities. Once we have students who can succeed in a business environment, we will create work opportunities for them, working with existing programs, or creating new programs with our business partners.
Part-Time Jobs. We know that by 10th grade many of our students are looking for part-time jobs after school, on weekends, during the summer. Many will end up seeing these jobs as "having made it", rather than as stepping stones to better opportunities beyond. If Cabrini Connections can be the channel through which students find jobs, we can keep them focused on career development goals beyond the immediate success they feel with their first real job.
6) Career Development Counseling/College Scholarships. A continual part of the CSS process will be career counseling. Every time we put a student in a mentoring environment at a host organization we need to have that child make a comparison of where they are in school and what courses they have taken, with what it takes to be able to get a job at the host organization.
The result of this process will be students with goals beyond finishing high school and with preparation to compete for education at the schools of their choice or in the vocations they desire. Furthermore, as we develop corporate partners for CSS we will seek to obtain funding for scholarship programs to enhance student opportunities.
7) Recycling as role models and mentors. We not only want to see our students become productive citizens, we want them to be concerned citizens. We want them to have a commitment to those who are behind them and who have not received the opportunities they have received. We want them to become mentors and role models themselves to help other children succeed.
The Career Success Steps program will be offered to students as early as our 7th grade group. If continued throughout the 7th-12th grade, students will have been eligible for 14 company/college visits prior to graduation. Through participation in this process for the 4-6 years we expect students to be part of Cabrini Connections we expect our students to sample several different career paths so that they see the variety of careers they might have interest in.
Enrichment/experience field trips will be each student's first entry into the Success Steps program. Our goal is to offer each student at least two company visits a year (spring and fall). Different companies and organizations will host trips, so students will meet a variety of different people in different business atmospheres. The business contact will not be limited to professional careers. Secretaries, food service, custodians, etc., will also be included, if a student has indicated that's the career he/she wants.
As we have success with companies in the basic success steps program, we will develop more comprehensive partnerships where we can provide job/learning opportunities to our students through our network of companies. If we are the source of the job we can keep the student in our program and both the employer and Cabrini Connections will make a condition of employment continued academic progression. Ideally, these intern opportunities will continue through college or trade school and many companies will give future full-time career employment opportunities to students they have helped steer through the CSS program.
We will continue to keep our students involved in Cabrini Connections and the CSS cycle throughout their lives. This not only will provide long-term evaluation to determine the effectiveness of our programs, but will serve as a link between successful students and students still trying to succeed. As a growing number of Cabrini Connections students become productive citizens and remain committed to helping others, we will be able to multiply the number of remaining students who have help and concerned adults giving them a hand out of poverty.
*CABRINI CONNECTIONS: ROLES FOR VOLUNTEERS*
Cabrini Connections Training Committee Mission:
Volunteers come to CABRINI CONNECTIONS with a wide variety of experience and expectations. The objective of the training committee is to provide volunteers with materials and opportunity to increase their effectiveness as tutors and mentors as well as to build awareness of the resources available to help make them a more effective and satisfied volunteer and the motivation to incorporate that knowledge in each week's tutoring.
While the Success Steps outlines the strategies Cabrini Connections will follow to help each child develop his/her potential, the Training Committee has has to create a plan to show volunteers "how to do it".
TEACH THESE FUNDAMENTALS AND INCREASE THE NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS WHO INCLUDE THESE IN THEIR WEEKLY ACTIVITIES.
1) Satisfaction. Tutors are successful just by their regular attendance. A tutor who believes his/her time is well spent will be more motivated to attend regularly.
2) The Three Keys. Reading, writing and math are keys to success. These can be presented in an unlimited variety of tutoring activities to be included in each week's sessions.
3) Shared Communication Responsibility. There are plenty of resources available; however, tutors must be self-motivated to use them. It's each volunteer's responsibility to know what's available and to use those resources.
4) Participation. It's absolutely necessary for Program continuation. Cabrini Connections relies upon volunteers to provide leadership and share responsibility. Involvement also provides a degree of satisfaction and self-development that usually leads to greater contributions and commitment.
5) Modeling. Our tutors and other volunteers are role models to the children. Everything volunteers do, from regular attendance, to the way they greet and respond to other volunteers, influences the children as much as the lessons provided. (Sometimes we forget this.)
The primary purpose of all training activities will be to teach these fundamentals. As a greater percentage of volunteers assimilate these principles into their routine, the program will see an even greater growth in its effectiveness. A challenge to the training committee will be to find a way to quantify this growth.
• Review existing Training Programs (ours and other programs) and design learning activities that will reach a greater percent of volunteers and will build tutor/mentor skills and provide reinforcement throughout the year.
• Provide on-going evaluation of volunteer participation in training activities along with continuous needs assessment to assure that organization is meeting the learning needs of volunteers and students
• Solicit professionals to participate with training committee in workshop design, presentations, evaluations and one-on-one counseling and interventions.
• Determine training needed to implement screening policy and structure workshops for all volunteers to obtain 100% compliance.
• Develop Orientation(s) for new volunteers prior to start of tutoring, and on-going throughout the year for volunteers who join after October. Our goal is to have 100% participation of all volunteers in a scheduled orientation
• Develop training and debriefing process to support volunteer contact team (recruiting committee) and to continually draw volunteers back to the printed info in the volunteer handbook.
• Build volunteer participation in training workshops offered at various sites throughout the year, such as the September Training Conference developed with Cabrini-Green Tutoring Program and PALS at 4th Presbyterian Church, and the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference held in May and November. Develop programs to "sell" volunteers on the benefit of attending these sessions.
• Update Volunteers Handbook for 2008-09 start-up
This manual provides the core of volunteer training for Cabrini Connections. The program's expectations for volunteers and students, its policy and procedures, and basic philosophy and fundamental strategies for tutoring and mentoring incorporating reading, writing, math and science, are all included in the handbook. The current handbook and other training materials are at http://www.cabriniconnections.net/volunteers/resources.asp
Additional Training Bulletins should be prepared by the training committee and published as needed. The training committee will conduct an ongoing review and evaluation of the handbook and provide a schedule that has the handbook updated and reprinted for the 2008-09 tutor year by mid summer.
*CABRINI CONNECTIONS LONG TERM OBJECTIVES*
Create University Based Tutor/Mentor Connection Support System - a goal of Cabrini Connections is to involve university faculty and graduate students in developing/implementing training and review programs. Outreach has begun with Illinois Wesleyan, Loyola, Northwestern, Chicago State University and a number of other Chicago area universities. Through these programs Cabrini Connections will be able to expand the quality and range of programs offered to Cabrini Connections students. The programs listed below are among the priorities to be served by university partnerships:
• Summer Bridge Program - As resources become available Cabrini Connections will expand its summer programs to provide activities that will propel students more successfully into the next year of school, from grade school to high school, and into the Cabrini Connections program process. Among the activities contemplated:
• Student Screening/Interview - interview with every student and parent prior to the start of each year to determine needs, and set goals to gain greater benefit from their participation in Cabrini Connections
• Academic Bridge - work with 7th and 8th grade students over summer to provide extra support to help them get off to stronger start in high school
• Peer Mentoring - establish a bridge between junior high and high school with 10th and 11th grade students mentoring 7th and 8th graders so that when the 8th grader enters high school he/she is mentored by a student whom he has been working with previously.
• Learning Disability/Social Services Resources. The complexity of social issues that confront volunteers and students during the weekly sessions has created a need to increase the Program's network with local social agencies that are direct providers to the families and to provide additional Learning Disability Specialists to support tutors during tutoring. Cases where a tutor perceives child abuse, a need for eye glasses, gang interference or any of the many problems a child might face are beyond the capacity of the current program, yet require some type of program intervention to aid the child and satisfy the volunteer. Special learning needs are often beyond the special education training of the other tutor resource staff. The training committee will help develop and recruit a list of contacts and resources to fill this need.
• Health/Nutrition Education. Numerous reports show that many at-risk kids suffer from multiple environmental ills. Among them is a lack of proper nutrition education and education that increases access to available medical services within the community. Because Cabrini Connections and its volunteers are a support group, having more individual contact with member students than most other community resources, there is a great opportunity to include health and nutrition education as part of the program's on-going curriculum. As resources become available this will be included in the annual planning.
*Create Vocational Mentoring Path with leadership in each industry sector.*
While staff and volunteer seek to build student aspirations and motivations, as teens get older they are influenced by peers and jobs. Thus, we seek partnerships with companies who seek to expand diversity in their workforce, or fill critical skills shortages, and who will become strategic in engaging the resources of the company in supporting tutor/mentor programs in multiple locations.
*Create a Service Learning Component* so more of our students stay connected to Cabrini Connections and stay involved in volunteerism and philanthropy as they move through the adult and work stages of their lives.
*What Basic Conditions need to be met, to attract students and volunteers to a site based tutor/mentor program?
Listed in order of priority are the organizational needs that must be met each week for CABRINI CONNECTIONS to maintain the high quality level for which it has earned a reputation of excellence.
1) Create positive environment for tutors and students to spend time together.
• Clean, orderly area (70 desks, 100 chairs)
• Pencils, paper, calculators, scissors, attendance lists, and other needed supplies stocked in cabinets
• Learning resources, such as library, worksheet binders, and geography materials in place and orderly.
• Coffee and snacks in stock and prepared for distribution.
2) Provide a structure and support that offers an opportunity for a satisfactory experience. Focus primarily on tutors because if volunteers were to stop coming, the program would not survive.
• Annual evaluation, review and plan which incrementally builds on previous year accomplishments
• Regular communications program (newsletters, email, blogs, web sites, bulletin boards, etc.)
• Informational and historical record (Annual Report, brochures, etc.)
• Information on community resources, field trip activities, etc.
• Motivation activities such as parties, field trips, and writing contests
3) Provide a broad base of resources from which individual children and tutors can build activities.
• Library, with reference materials and motivational activity worksheets
• Internet Library with home work help, suggested activities, tips for tutors/mentors, networking opportunities.
• Student history file with report cards
• Teacher referral forms from local schools
• School supplies, learning resources, library
• Computers, with dedicated work area
• Speaker/Role Model Program
• Field Trips to business and college sites
• Parties and informal social gatherings for kids and volunteers
4) Ensure frequency and consistency of participation. Focus on student attendance because if students come inconsistently tutors will eventually stop coming. Focus on tutor attendance to improve relationships and quality of tutoring/mentoring children receive.
• Preparation of weekly attendance record, with volunteers to do check in
• Maintenance of tutor and student address data-base with up-to-date info
• Tutor contact network with weekly follow-up
• Weekly calls and letters to children with 2+ absences
• Perfect attendance recognition and reward for 10 weeks without absence
• Recognition for volunteers with 90% or better attendance
• Marketing and maintenance of Point Bank system
5) Provide training and other motivational resources to enable tutors to have more satisfying and effective experience.
• Written Handbook, plus regular handouts
• Organized training sessions (Orientation, Fall Workshop, Jan. Workshop)
• First Year tutor orientations every 6 weeks
• Encourage participation in program committees and after-tutor activities
• Files full of math and language-skills worksheets, to be used as individual lessons
• SVHAT20 on-line support system for students and volunteers
6) Provide direct service benefits to children.
• Safe environment in which to interact with caring adult.
• Role models to spend time with
• Extra learning activities such as arts, technology, writing clubs
• Computer and Internet access for homework help, networking, communications with volunteer
• Learning materials (books, pencils, reference books, dictionaries, etc.)
• Books to check out and take home to read.
• Snacks at sessions
• Experience and enrichment activities (field trips, etc.)
• Parties, with gifts and treats
7) Involve parents in tutoring activities and children’s education.
• Parent Orientation at start of year
• Involvement of parents in weekly sessions
• Informational literature provided through program
• Auxiliary parent-education programs on subjects such as nutrition, or reading to children at home
8) Involve teachers and social workers in tutoring activities and children’s education.
• Teacher and Social Worker Orientation or Introduction at start of year
• Involvement of teachers and social workers in developing mentoring and tutoring strategies
• Informational literature provided through program
• Report Card permission from parent so school can release information directly to program
• Coach volunteer to contact teacher or social worker directly
9) Involve business in tutoring and mentoring activities and children’s education.
• Through the Success Steps engage business in providing training programs to prepare students for work
• Create a pool of part-time and summer jobs for qualified students, at companies which commit to also “mentor” students while on the job
• Create scholarship pools from Success Steps companies which help student obtain advanced education.
• Invite businesses to Career Day activities
• Teach volunteers to be ambassadors for tutor/mentor within their company or industry
*CABRINI CONNECTIONS PROGRAM EVALUATION*
The objective of Cabrini Connections is for students who participate to begin to develop a graduation rate higher than the average for the school and a grade average higher than the school average.
1) Participation measurements. High participation (85% and above attendance) will show the program's success in attracting and keeping students and volunteers. We aim to keep students from when they join, 7th - 9th grade, through when they leave high school. The cumulative impact of program activities will have the greatest benefit to those who participate on the most regular basis.
2) Grade averages. Grades will be converted to a mathematical average that will be entered into a trending spreadsheet. Each student will be monitored during tenure in the program and a trendline developed to recognize movement up or down from previous performance so that appropriate attention can be given in either circumstance.
Furthermore, the grade averages of each class (9th, 10th, etc.) will be averaged and trended. If similar comparisons are available from the participating schools a comparison will be made. However, the initial comparison will be to the group's previous performance, with expectation of a growing improvement in the total group average as the program matures.
3) Graduation and advancement rates. Participants are expected to develop a graduation and/or advancement rate above the average for the schools where they originate. As the program matures, the difference between Cabrini Connections students and the local student population should become measurable.
4) College and Vocational education. Participants are expected to develop goals and hopes for careers beyond high school, either vocational or professional. The Montgomery Ward scholarship program will be used as an incentive to encourage extra effort and it is expected that there will develop an increasing number of applicants and an increasing quality in the applicants who apply.
5) Process evaluation. Program leaders include veteran tutors, business leaders, experienced volunteer managers and Columbia College university faculty. The program will be evaluated on a regular basis and the operating premises tested against subjective logic. Course corrections will be made on a continuing basis, as needed.
*Committee Operating Principles:*
These guidelines are intended to be the "style" of leadership the Program adapts to increase participation and assure continuity. During each year it is a goal of the planning staff to have "next-year" committees formed and functioning prior to the end of the current year so there is no start-up lag time between the end of one tutoring year and the beginning of the next year as new committees are formed to replace departing committees.
• Committee meeting frequency is to be set by the committee, but committees are to meet throughout the tutoring year. Each meeting should have a minimum agenda of "Are we doing what we set out to do?"
• Committee meetings should be scheduled on nights when there are tutoring sessions and in the tutoring area to make use of other "volunteer staff resources" present .
• Meeting dates are to be publicized in the Weekly Tutor News and on the tutoring bulletin board so that interested volunteers may attend and contribute freely.
• Committees should be organized with defined roles, or a least an understanding of who fills what needs. Leaders, communicators, recruiters, scroungers and workers are needed in each committee to assure that all responsibilities can be met.
• Committees are to send a representative to each of the scheduled quarterly Executive Committee meetings. These meetings are not intended to be a "rehash" of committee discussions, only a communication and coordination between committees of planned activities.
• Written minutes of committee meetings should be filed with the Program secretary as well as summary reports of all activities.
*Committee Organization Principles:*
The ability of the tutoring program to develop leadership for each of it's projects has been the secret of it's success. However, in no case is the leader of a project expected to be the only worker on that committee. In fact, one of the key responsibilities of leaders is to organize a committee to whom work can be delegated and from whom leadership succession can come.
Each committee has differing functional needs from its members, depending on the nature of the project. However, every committee needs some common traits from it's members to be successful. Program leaders at CABRINI CONNECTIONS are asked to evaluate their committee membership for these traits and develop recruitment tactics to bring new members into the committee when they see a void.
• Leader — Communicates project's VISION and GOAL. Liaison to other committees.
• Communicator — Interacts with other committee members to keep them informed and motivated
• Recruiter — Able to bring new volunteers to help meet committee goals
• Organizer — Able to sequence events and coordinate work flow to accomplish goal.
• Scrounger — Find/gets materials needed to accomplish task….money, donations, facilities, etc.
• Worker — Willing to be at a work site for a specific number of hours whenever asked.
• Writer — Able to put mission, advertising and other needed communications in written format.
• Artist — Provides graphics, where needed, on certain committees
*PROGRAM COMMITTEES OF CABRINI CONNECTIONS*
*POLICIES AND PROCEDURES COMMITTEE*
This committee will help prepare policies and procedures for the induction of students and tutors, and the format of the sessions. This group will work closely with the training committee to insure that all students and tutors are made aware of all program policies.
Program policies will be developed and maintained by the policy committee and will be regularly communicated as part of volunteer and student training. Policy categories:
• Policies for recruitment and screening of volunteers;
• Policies for volunteers and students meeting after hours and outside of the Cabrini Connections headquarters;
• Minority recruitment and involvement policies; and
• General program participation policies
*VOLUNTEER RECRUITING COMMITTEE*
Comprised of volunteers who will focus on establishing contacts to recruit volunteers as tutor/mentors, office support, committee members. Recruitment of volunteers is on-going. However, extra effort will target a build-up of new volunteers for the start of the fall tutoring year. All volunteers will be invited to a Saturday, Sept. tbd, Kick-off/Orientation Breakfast Workshop.
General Recruiting/Sources of volunteers
• Company teams (Hewett, Montgomery Ward, etc.). Contact volunteer/community affairs coordinator in July/August and request support
• Associations - Union League Club, Chicago Bar Association, Young Executives Club, minority professional and business associations
• Newslink, media placements
• Tutor/Mentor Connection Volunteer Fair - annually
As part of the organization's policy of recruiting minorities into broad participation and leadership, a targeted effort aims at this group. This runs parallel to the general recruiting of volunteers.
• Associations - team leaders will develop lists of minority associations and schedule presentations to group membership
• Minority volunteers/speakers will be asked to "recruit a friend"
The focus of this committee will be to
• Establish parent committee and involve parents on committees
• Invite to orientation in fall
• Establish a once-a-month parent briefing where activity calendars can be reviewed and parents can sign up for multiple events at one time
• Other activities the committee might be responsible for include: recruit students, provide escort for those students who need it, support each other and the students and the program and give input to the program.
The focus of the group will be to facilitate communication among area programs and to prepare a community calendar of events so that groups may support each other and reduce potential scheduling conflicts.
This committee will establish and maintain a communications link with schools where Cabrini Connection students are enrolled. This will develop two-way support for between the schools and our programs.
Responsible for fall Tutor, Student and Parent Orientations. Will also work with the Training Connection and Kids Connection staff to present in-service and seminars over the course of the year.
This committee will develop a recognition program for volunteers and students, working with the training and recruiting committees. Some suggested programs:
• Develop Mantra/pledge for Cabrini Connections that includes values
• Wall plaques to recognize students who recruit/get on honor roll
• Wall plaques to recognize volunteers who raise funds, recruit volunteers
• End of year certificates of achievement/attendance
• Special privileges for extra effort/achievement
• End of Year Dinner/special recognition events
*STUDENT RECRUITING COMMITTEE*
Responsible for recruiting new students, screening and assessing applicants, following up with parent permission forms. This group will work with the volunteer recruiting committee to try to maintain an enrollment balance between students and tutors.
These are some of the issues that the recruiting committee will review and formulate policy for. This will be reviewed on a continuous basis.
• Who gets in? • Develop flexible policy
• Interviews with parents/students
• Pre entrance testing • Student/parent contracts
• From Schools • By other kids
• Contact with parents
• By Newsletter, flyers, posters
• Through CGTP liaison
• Buddy System - kids helping kids
Regular attendance of over 85% is the goal for each Cabrini Connections' program. Positive reinforcement will be the general process to achieve this goal. However, there will be minimum standards and procedures to follow to produce high attendance.
• Phone/letter follow-up system takes place each Friday or Monday to follow up with any student or volunteer who was a "NO Call…NO Show" for the week.
The program historically has been successful with a well defined reward and marketing plan which encourages good attendance and behavior patterns. Some of the categories of reward are:
• Attendance. Establish minim quorum before $5 drawing can be held.
• Recruitment of another student/keeping him/her for 10 weeks minimum
• Student leadership (recruiting, tutoring, volunteering, etc.)
*INVOLVEMENT OF KIDS*
• Student leadership college - each summer use this to develop student leadership
• Project LEAD - teach students to develop programs where they help Cabrini Connections achieve goals of motivating peers to perform better in school & life
• Develop CLASS CLUBS, such as a Seniors Club, to provide mentor/student age-appropriate activities and support
• Use leadership to build attendance
• Develop volunteer role and encourage students to become volunteers
• Develop part time jobs at Cabrini Connections for students
*TRAINING/KIDS LEARNING ACTIVITIES*
• Speaker role-models - referral form available for volunteers to introduce prospects to program and schedule dates.
• Success Steps Workshops (dress for success, interviewing, etc.)
• Develop monthly calendar of events, distribute first of each month
• Monthly briefing for parents to obtain multiple sign-ups for field trips and recruit parent chaperones
• Email newsletter, blogs and web page update
Review the Technology Plan and recruit volunteers to support all of the goals and strategies outlined in that plan. (see http://dell-6 if you are at the Cabrini Connections office)
The Cabrini Connections Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) is about children and learning. It's about tutoring and mentoring programs that provide urban youth positive experiences, role models and alternatives to the streets. It's about linking volunteers and corporations with children in need, and bringing programs and committed people from all walks of life together to turn our communities around. In short, T/MC is about making a difference.
According to Mark Cohen, a professor at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management, "High risk youths who are kept out of trouble through intervention programs could save society as much as $2 million a youth per lifetime." He calculates the costs in terms of actual loss as well as pain and suffering. From The Wall Street Journal, 3/31/96. In a separate study of the Cost of Poverty in Overtown and Date County, Florida in 1990, the public cost of poverty for a neighborhood of just 3,439 households is estimated to be "$30 million per year." Furthermore, the report concludes that "77,000 people living in economically healthy low-income neighborhoods of Dade County are costing taxpayers $62 million per year less than 77,000 people living in economically unhealthy low-income neighborhoods."
Every child who is helped by an afterschool tutor/mentor program to become a tax-paying adult represents a savings and an investment. We are offered with the choice of a 12-to 16-year investment as a child becomes an adult, and becomes a taxpayer, vs the potential life-time costs of public services associated with children who re-enter the cycle of poverty.
Most important, however, tutoring and mentoring can help individual inner-city children have a wider range of possibilities for long-term personal fulfillment.
Children can't realize personal goals without the necessary skills. They can't secure rewarding jobs and personal happiness without self-esteem, a good education and good learning habits. They can't reach their full potential without positive role models who demonstrate these skills. Tutoring and mentoring programs are infused with these kinds of role models.
At CABRINI CONNECTIONS we are committed to providing life changing opportunities for each student who joins us, from the time he/she becomes a member, throughout the rest of that person's life. Thank you for joining us.
*History (use this material for developing a longer history-type document)*
The program first operated from the dayroom of St. Joseph's Church, on Orleans Street in Chicago, meeting every Saturday morning from January 1993 throught the summer. Volunteers also meet with teens at Wells High School, for a one hour period every two weeks. From August of 1993 to July 1999, the program operated in an expansive space on the 21st floor of Montgomery Ward’s corporate tower, which sits at the southern border of the Cabrini-Green housing project. This generous donation from Montgomery Ward spurred the growth of the program and total enrollment now stands at approximately 80 students and 100 volunteers.
Seeking to pool their efforts to create a place where they and others could come together to help children have a better future, the group pledged support to the following philosophy, which is the Northwestern Train Station Manifesto (because it was created at this location in October 1992)
_We will provide an organized framework that empowers and encourages volunteers to give their time, effort, ideas and support to seeking life-changing solutions for children who live in an educationally disadvantaged environment, such as Cabrini-Green.
Members of Cabrini Connections seek to support one another and other community leaders throughout Chicago and America in efforts to encourage, develop and fund volunteer-based literacy programs with the intent of empowering a growing number of community volunteers to become tutors, mentors and role models to public school students. Our hope is to provide brighter futures to educationally disadvantaged youth by stimulating children's desire to learn, increasing self-esteem and reinforcing classroom teaching through lessons and friendship with adult role models.
We accept that we will often differ in our goals or in our strategies for achieving them, but will seek not to judge one another's motivations but rather let time be our judge and let our combined efforts in support of one-another be honest and true in meeting the broader goals of this alliance. We do not seek to dwell on that which divides us, but on that which unites us. And where honest effort results in different opinions, we will value those differences and where common ground is not available, be supportive and encouraging in seeking separate paths to our common goal.
In all of our efforts we commit ourselves to strive for simplicity in seeking solutions, reduction when facing bureaucracy, and creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in identifying and applying new solutions to old programs._