Thursday, October 7, 2010

November Tutor/Mentor Leadership & Networking Conference

Although I am a Cubs fan and never thought I would enthusiastically blog about something related to the White Sox, I will put my team loyalties aside momentarily. I am thrilled to announce that we have a date and location set for our November 2010 Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference.

Friday, November 19th
from 9:00am-5:00pm
U.S. Cellular Field
(home of the Chicago White Sox)

The aim of the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference is to encourage networking, information sharing, and collaboration that helps every tutoring and mentoring program build a stronger “business” of connecting youth and volunteers. Each biannual conference draws 100 to 150 leaders and supporters of volunteer-based tutoring and mentoring programs. Since the first conference in 1994, representatives from over 1,200 distinct organizations have attended as have prominent public figures such as then-Senator Barack Obama and Mayor Richard Daley.

Based on feedback from past conferences and on summer collaboration meetings with program staff and leaders, we have decided to make this conference focus on networking, learning, and collaboration as programs prepare for 2011 and beyond. Although "networking" has always been an important goal of the conferences, we are formatting this conference with a special emphasis on networking between programs.

The focus on networking is also relevant to the Social Network Analysis (SNA) that volunteer Kalyani Misra has been conducting to illustrate programs that have attended past Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences, their geographic distribution, and the ways that participants have contributed as speakers or panelists. These diagrams are a tool for us to illustrate the impact of the conference and to evaluate directions we hope the conference may grow (for instance, getting program leaders to attend conferences from regions of the city that have been previously underrepresented). Kalyani's work (including the diagram shown at the left) can be found on her blog.

What to look forward to at the November 19, 2010 conference:
  • Training session on how to maximize the conference experience to build your network
  • Lunchtime “Topic Tables” will offer time for people to connect for small group discussions focusing on specific topics of importance to leaders, volunteers, and youth in tutoring and/or mentoring programs
  • As always, the conference will offer workshops on a range of topics relevant to building strong, innovative, and high-quality volunteer-based tutoring and mentoring programs. A sampling of workshops to look forward to include: training on creative uses of social networking tools for programs, rethinking special event planning and fundraising for tough economic times, and an interactive demonstration by Mike Trakan, GIS map developer of T/MC, on how to build your own neighborhood maps.
  • Much more to come! We will update the online agenda in the weeks prior to the conference, so keep checking back!
Ways to get involved:
  • Register - Mail in your registration now! Online registration forms will be up soon.
  • Share your input - Whether or not you can attend this conference, please complete the Pre-Conference survey to help us in the planning process
  • Become a sponsor - Event sponsorships are available at a variety of levels—please contact me at 312-492-9614 for any additional information about sponsorship opportunities and benefits

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