Could your Little one use a BIG?
As a parent/guardian, you recognize the potential of your child better than anyone. By giving your child the opportunity to be part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, you’re starting them down a path to an even brighter, more promising future.MORE
Families as Partners
You know what’s best for your child/youth. So, we’ll need your help from the start, providing information about your child’s strengths and needs, and ultimately approving the Big match. But your role doesn’t end there.
When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we’re all in this together. So, it should come as no surprise that we need the parents and guardians of Littles to be involved every step of the way, starting with the initial match.
Not only will you provide information about your child’s strengths and needs, but you’ll also approve the selection of the Big. Once the match is made, you remain closely involved in many ways, including:
- Approving activities and outings.
- Asking questions about those outings and sharing what you learn with the agency staff.
- Reporting progress and milestones to the agency on a regular basis (Big Brothers Big Sisters will contact you, but we welcome your feedback any time).
The Magic Of Mentoring
There have likely been countless moments in your life when you have counted on someone you trust for advice, companionship, and support. It could have been a teacher, coach, family member or friend, the value of a mentor is undeniable. They can guide, direct, or shape your present situation and future opportunities, for the better.
In our community-based mentoring program, volunteer mentors (Bigs) provide mentees (Littles) with dedicated time and attention, at least 2 times per month. These outing should be filled with conversations and shared activities, they develop a relationship that helps youth manage the everyday challenges that are part of growing up. Over the course of time, children gain confidence in themselves, acquire new skills and competencies, and develop an enhanced capacity to care for others – all tasks that are a part of developing healthy maturity. Volunteers experience a sense of discovery and enjoyment as they see the world of possibility open up through the child’s eyes.
The community-based program is designed for children aged 7-17 and volunteers aged 18+. The program is fully professionally supported by a Program Manager so matches can grow into lasting, fruitful friendships.
Types of Activities
Unlike the site-based program, the community-based program allows Bigs and Littles have the freedom to coordinate their own, personalized match activities. While each match is fully supported by our team, matches enjoy the flexibility to schedule outings themselves, while participating in activities that they share an interest in.
In community-based mentoring, getting together with your Big doesn’t require a special occasion, specific day and time, or even an expensive activity – it just requires a few hours twice a month doing things you already enjoy. Though each match is an experience unique to the Big and Little themselves, usually our matches enjoy such activities as: playing catch, reading books, getting ice cream, going to a museum, hiking, baking cookies, and playing board or card games.
In our site-based mentoring program, volunteer mentors (Bigs) provide mentees (Littles) with dedicated time and attention, at the same time and place each week. It may sound obvious, but sometimes the best place to help a child realize their potential is at school. Kids enjoy having their Bigs meet with them there, whether it’s in the classroom or on the playground. And parents know what a positive impact it makes.
The site-based program is designed for children aged 7-17 and volunteers can be high school or college students or adults. The program is fully professionally supported by a Program Manager so matches can grow into lasting, fruitful friendships.
Types of Activities
Although it takes place at schools, our site-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.
Who are the children in the program?
Littles and their families are from all walks of life. They are between the ages of 7-17. Some live with risk factors such as single parent homes, poverty, abuse or parental incarceration. Others simply have a need for some one-to-one attention.
Who are the Bigs?
Our Bigs are either adults of at least 18 years of age or high school students depending on the program. They come from different backgrounds and professions.
How do I know my child will get along with a Big?
We match Bigs and Littles based on common interests, personalities, and geography in an effort to create the best match possible.
What is the screening process for Bigs?
All Bigs undergo an extensive screening process including a written application, a criminal background and reference check, an in-person interview and an orientation and training process. Once a child is matched, a Program Manager will contact you or your child on a regular basis to review your child’s match, answer questions, receive your input and offer guidance.
How much does it cost?
There is no cost for a child to participate in the program.
Will BBBSSM continue to be involved once the match is made?
Absolutely! Behind the scenes, a team of experts – the Program Managers – will monitor the match and encourage the Big to be the best mentor they can for your child.
MENTORS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF MAINE KIDS
|46%||less likely to experiment with drugs|
|52%||less likely to skip school|
|59%||more likely to get better grades|