Big Brothers Big Sister’s of Washington County has a variety of programs and options to fit the diverse lifestyles of volunteers and families. Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is a rewarding volunteer opportunity with a direct and significant impact on one child. Bigs have the opportunity to shape children’s futures by empowering them to realize their potential and develop the skills needed to achieve success now and into adulthood.
An adult volunteer (individual, couple or family) is matched with one child. Twice a month for at least one year, the match explores shared interests together through simple activities in the community, at the volunteer’s home, or with BBBS groups. Scheduling is flexible and based on the volunteer’s and child’s schedules.
School Based Mentoring
An adult volunteer is matched one-to-one with a child at one of the elementary schools located throughout Washington County. The match enjoys time together once a week during the child’s lunch and recess period for at least one school year. They may use the library or an office board games, reading, or crafts, or go outside on school grounds. Mail or e-mail contact bridges the summer months until meetings resume the next school year.
The LifeSmith Project
The LifeSmith Project is an option for Community Based matches with Middle and High School students, with an emphasis on academic goals and career planning. Community based matches meet at least twice per month. When part of the LifeSmith project, one monthly meeting is with the LifeSmith group and one is on their own. LifeSmith meetings include visits to a wide variety of area businesses for tours and information on what types of jobs are offered in that business and what type of education or preparation is required. LifeSmith participants also set yearly academic goals and follow up within the match and within the LifeSmith group. LifeSmith and Community Based mentoring combine the fun of group and individual activities with a focus on the Little’s education and post-high school goals.
Club Mentor is a site-based mentoring program for Hartford area matches with Littles in grades 1-5. Bigs and Littles will be matched one-to-one but will then participate in a group program two to four times per month for an hour and a half at the Redeemer Lutheran Church parsonage. A Big Brothers Big Sisters staff person will be there each week (day and time TBA) to offer a group activity for part of the time and then matches will have a chance to play games, read, do projects on their own. Matches will attend at least 2 of the 4 sessions each month. This site-based program offers a little more structure and support for those just starting in the program.
There is always a place to go and something to do. If you know someone, a potential Big or potential Little, that might like this type of mentoring program, give us a call for more information. If you would like to enroll as a Big in Club Mentor click HERE…if you would like to enroll your child in Club Mentor click HERE.
Within each program, volunteers have options for enrollment
Big Brother – an individual Big Brother will be matched with a Little Brother
Big Sister – an individual Big Sister may be matched with a Little Sister or a Little Brother. Cross-gender matches are made only with Big Sisters and younger Little Brothers who are missing a female role model in their lives
Big Couple – a couple may be matched with one child. This offers flexibility in scheduling. Usually the couple participates in activities with the Little together but could also schedule with just the Big Brother or just the Big Sister, if matched with a Little Brother. In a Little Sister match, activities must be with the Big Sister or the Couple, but not the Big Brother alone. In a Big Couple match, the child gets a male role model, a female role model, and a model of a healthy relationship.
Big Family – a couple can mentor together and include their own children. Matching is carefully evaluated based on the age of the children in the mentor family. Occasional one-to-one time is encouraged but activities often involve the whole family.