Our School-Based mentoring program runs on a weekly basis in over 50 schools in Mercer County. Bigs, many who are students, meet their Little every week during lunch or after-school.
Some of the biggest supporters of our School-Based mentoring program are actually teachers. They see students come back from their time with their Big filled with confidence, smiling, ready to learn and eager to succeed.
High School Bigs Programs
Matches local High School students with elementary and middle school children. The mentoring-tutoring is done at mentee’s school site. Case managers closely supervise and provide assistance for the matches. The commitment is one hour a week for one academic year, with visits that may take place after school, at lunch, or at any point during the day. These students learn to become caring adults while at the same time providing a positive role model for younger children in their community.
Big Brothers Big Sisters’ programs work because they utilize caring supportive volunteers who teach, through example and experience, the relationship between setting goals, taking responsibility for one’s actions, and achieving the kind of success that will make children valuable members of their communities. It is a wonderful opportunity for friendship and fun for both children and adults alike!
College Based Mentoring
The School-Based mentoring program for college students provides an opportunity for individuals who are interested in volunteering but do not have a lot of free time. Mentors spend 1 hour per week with their mentees at a local Elementary or Middle school within walking or short driving distance. Visits can take place during the course of the school day or at an extended day school program.
Students from Education, Psychology and Sociology backgrounds are encouraged to apply as this opportunity provides hands-on experience with dealing with younger children. Mentors talk with their mentees, play games, and also spend at least 15 minutes helping with school work. The goal is to form a fun, positive friendship while being a positive role model. Professional case managers provide assistance and support to the matches on an ongoing basis.
Learning about life
Although it takes place at school, our School-Based mentoring program isn’t limited to the classroom. Of course, some Littles do talk with their Bigs about class, or do homework, or read together, but it’s perfectly fine to shoot hoops in the gym or play on the playground. At the end of the day, it’s really all about starting a friendship, providing guidance and inspiring them to reach their potential.
Research shows that matches that last at least a year have significant impact on the child so we ask our volunteer Bigs to make a minimum one year commitment to their Little and our program. However, we find that many of our Bigs and Littles build relationships that last for years, long after the Little has “graduated” from our program.