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August 24, 2000

First Lady Encourages Adults to Be More Involved in Children's Lives

CHICAGO -- As the school year begins across the state, First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan is encouraging adults to volunteer their time and talents as tutors and mentors in over 300 after-school and in-school programs throughout Chicagoland.

Mrs. Ryan serves as the honorary chair for the 2000 Tutor/Mentor Volunteer Recruitment Campaign, "What a Difference a Day Makes", which culminates in several citywide volunteer fairs held Thursday, September 7 through Saturday, September 9.

"We know that children who have strong attachments to their family, school and community are less likely to use drugs, commit crimes, or drop out of school," said Mrs. Ryan. "A volunteer tutor and mentor can help steer a child in the right direction by setting a strong example, lending an understanding ear and providing much needed support with school work. Together they can build a bright future."

The Campaign estimates more than 200,000 Chicago-area school-age children are in need tutoring and mentoring. The campaign is intended to draw volunteers into tutor/mentor programs in Chicago and around the state just as school is starting for the 2000-2001 school year.

Total quality, long-term after-school tutor and mentor programs can be a great means of giving children hope, support, and learning tools necessary to build the self-esteem and confidence to succeed in school and in life.

The Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC), affiliated with the Cabrini Kids' Connection, was launched in 1994 with a goal of increasing the quality and capacity of structured, creative after-school and in-school tutor/mentor programs throughout the city. The Volunteer Recruitment Campaign seeks to attract business, professional, faith-group, and community volunteers. While there are many such programs, the Cabrini Kids’ survey shows that fewer than 10,000 adults are serving as one-on-one mentors in structured programs.

The campaign coincides with the new school year when many after-school programs resume activities and recruit volunteer support. The fairs will enable adults to get information and sign up to volunteer with programs in or near their neighborhood or work place.

Mrs. Ryan and representatives from The Tutor/Mentor Connection will hold a press conference on Thursday, September 7 at 10:30 am at the James R. Thompson Center. Representatives from community based organizations will be on site that day to assist potential volunteers in selecting a site. Additional Sites are attached.

Mrs. Ryan chairs Illinois’ Futures for Kids Advisory Panel. Futures for Kids is the statewide resource for programs and policies related to the health, safety, and education of infants children and teenagers. The goal is to serve more children and families through better programs, more coordinated agency efforts, less duplication and the most effective use of the state’s resources.

"Through Futures for Kids, we are trying to create additional opportunities for children to have a meaningful connection with adults," said Mrs. Ryan.

For more information on Futures for Kids visit www.futures4kids.org.


"What a Difference a Day Makes"

2000 Campaign Volunteer sites

Thompson Center

100 W. Randolph

September 7


Richard J. Daley Library

3400 S. Halsted

September 7 & 8


Music Mart at DePaul U.

1 E. Jackson

September 7 & 8


Foodlife, Water Tower Place

835 N. Michigan Ave.

September 7 & 8


Chicago Bar Association

321 S. Plymouth Ct.

September 7 & 8


Border’s Books and Music

830 N. Michigan Ave.

2210 W. Webster Place

September 8 & 9

10-5 pm

Barnes and Noble Bookstore

1441 W. Webster Place

September 8 & 9

Friday:6-10:30 pm


Harold Washington Library

400 S. State

September 9


Conrad Sulzer Library

4455 N. Lincoln Avenue

September 9


Hyde Park Shopping Center

1526 E. 55th Street

September 9


Chicago Children’s Museum

Bookstore at Navy Pier

September 9


Barbara’s Bookstore

1100 Lake Street,

Oak Park

September 9


Other sites will be added and posted at www.tutormentorconnection.org


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