School Based Mentoring: another way to reach kids
Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to provide one-to-one mentoring relationships to children facing adversity; School Based Mentoring is just another way in which we do that, and one of the great things about this program is that high school students are eligible to be Bigs. School Based matches meet once a week at a designated school or other site where they talk, laugh, learn and play games—all with the aim of developing a caring, meaningful friendship that will change the child’s life for the better, forever.
It’s not tutoring
Although School Based Matches do homework and reading activities each time they get together, School Based Mentors are so much more than tutors. They are friends, role models and guides. Their role is to be a support and companion for their Littles, giving them the confidence to shine in school and out.
It has big rewards
There are many changes, both big and small, that can come about when a child has a committed, caring adult in their life: a child finally “getting” a math concept, a child who used to retreat from the group initiating conversation with his peers, a child who seems to be late for everything arriving to the afterschool program early because she knows her Big Sister is waiting for her. For volunteers, the reward comes in getting the chance to act like a kid again and in knowing they have had a major impact on a child’s life.
Two ways to Start Something
AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS: Afterschool Bigs volunteer for 1.5 hours, one afternoon per week during the school year. There are currently four afterschool sites, all in the cities of Lorain and Elyria. Volunteers and their Littles do homework, read together, play games and talk about their days. Afterschool volunteers must be 14, have transportation to their selected site and be able to commit to at least one calendar year of mentoring (not just a school year). Many afterschool volunteers are high school students, but some are college students and adults from the community. The afterschool programs are a great option for those who want to work with a Little but would like a little more structure than the Community Based program.
LUNCH BUDDIES: Lunch Buddies visit their Little over the child's lunch period at school. Many Lunch Buddy matches play games, work on homework or do crafts, but some matches would rather just talk and catch up on their weeks. Lunch Buddies are at elementary schools throughout the county, so it will be easy to find a location close to your home or workplace!