Proposed "Breakfast Club" Radio Campaign:
"Talk to Tutors/Mentors for Chicago Kids"
The Story: We think that by having on-air personalities talk about tutoring and mentoring, encouraging people and kids who participate, to call in, with their own stories and reasons for volunteering, we can reinforce the efforts of those who currently volunteer, and encourage new people to volunteer, contribute money to fund programs, and perhaps, even form groups to start new programs.
We can introduce listeners to program leaders and volunteers to start the conversation. We can point to the T/MC web site as an on-going source of more information and of links to Chicago and national programs, such as The National Mentoring Partnership. Then we'd like to ask listeners to send in post cards telling who they are, where they volunteer (name and address of program), what they like best about their program, and what they feel they are accomplishing. Once a month we (or a sponsor which you might help us recruit) can send a $100 contribution to one program, in the name of one volunteer who submitted information.
The Campaign: We'd like to continue the "Breakfast Club" year round, with different tutor/mentor topics discussed at different times of the year. Celebrity guests, such as the mayor, school CEO Paul Vallas, etc. can add visibility and content to the show. For instance, in June, as school is ending, you could ask tutors and mentors how they will keep in contact with the student over the summer, and what things they do to help kids "learn" while they are not in school. You could ask the Mayor to talk about summer programs.
In August, you could talk about why people should sign up for another year of tutoring or mentoring. You could tell about the T/MC Volunteer Recruiting campaign, which seeks to have tutor/mentor volunteer fairs at businesses and public facilities throughout the Chicago Region, all during the first weekend after Labor Day each year, so we can maximize media attention to draw prospective volunteers out to see where they might volunteer. In 1999 Jesse Jackson signed the call to action for the campaign. Imagine him as a guest on the Tutor/Mentor Breakfast Club show. Later in the fall, you can talk about the need for training, and suggest places, such as the November Tutor/Mentor Leadership Conference, where volunteers can attend tutor/training sessions.
Around the holidays you could talk about the activities and love which is generated in these programs, and encourage your listeners to share some of their own blessings, in the form of contributions to help fund these programs. Then in January, you could begin the campaign again, buy asking volunteers and kids to talk about why they do it, and to share their frustrations when it does not seem to be making any difference.
The results of your efforts will be that more kids will become part of such programs, the programs will all be better, benefiting from volunteers who are better trained, better motivated and who stay involved with their student for a longer period of time. The bottom line will be that more and more kids will begin to respond to these messages, and more and more will begin to go to school demanding education, and demanding respect and quiet from their peers, so the teachers can impart their wisdom and guidance.
This is a campaign which could be co-sponsored by the Junior League, or by members of the Advisory Concil of the Junior League, working as a team, and drawing from the leadership of the marketing department of The Allerton Crowne Plaza hotel in Chicago.
Status of Project.
This has been on drawing boards since mid 1990s. Needs Project Manager to turn it into reality.