Be a Valuable School-based Mentor and Enrich a Child's Life -
Male mentor and child in a library.

Sometimes, no matter a child’s family background or socioeconomic status, a young person needs some adult guidance. Studies have shown that just about every kid can benefit from spending time with a caring adult mentor. That’s where Big Brothers Big Sisters and the school-based mentoring program comes in.

These Bigs, as the mentors are known, visit the school weekly to spend quality time one-on-one with a Little. These moments of shared lunches, playful encounters on the playground, and engaging reading sessions, offer more than just companionship; they provide a beacon of hope and guidance. By volunteering your time as a Big Brothers Big Sisters Big, you can make a positive impact that lasts a lifetime.

The Positive Effects of school-based Mentoring

Big Brothers Big Sisters, acutely aware of the profound impact school-based mentoring can have, champions the cause of nurturing young lives. They recognize that mentorship is not solely for those encountering academic or social hurdles. A recent teacher survey highlighted this, with 95% acknowledging the universal benefits of mentoring. Notably, 82% observed a surge in academic performance among mentored students, while a similar proportion noted enhanced life skills crucial for success.

Another study underlined further positives: mentored students were less prone to truancy, more inclined towards community service, and often emerged as leaders. This transformation begins with the simple, yet profound, act of an adult dedicating time to a young person.

A male school-based mentor works with a little girl on a school project.

enrich a life with School-Based Mentoring

The Big Brothers Big Sisters school-based mentoring program pairs Littles, children of school-going age, with Bigs, volunteer mentors. Rigorous screening and training equip mentors to foster meaningful relationships with their Littles.

Each week, during school lunch hours, Bigs and Littles get to spend some quality time together. Whether sharing meals, enjoying playground activities, assisting with homework, delving into books, or engaging in thoughtful discussions, these sessions often become the week’s highlight for the Littles.

Just one hour weekly from a volunteer can significantly enrich a child’s life.

The success of such programs is evident. For example, Anne, the principal of a low-income school in California, observed remarkable behavioral and academic improvements in students with mentors.

“Students with mentors felt valued because an adult was willing to spend time with them each week,” Anne explained. “They felt heard because they had someone to talk to about problems they were facing and get some advice. If they got in trouble, their mentor could talk it out with them and help discuss better ways to resolve problems. It was heartwarming to see the looks on their faces when they saw their mentor coming, just to spend lunchtime with them!”

Anne saw how students with mentors gained resilience, an important personal quality that helps them learn to deal with life’s challenges. She said, “Everyone faces problems throughout their lives, and people who have developed coping skills and resilience can handle them better than those who find themselves overwhelmed by them. Mentoring has been shown in many studies to increase a child’s resilience, something that stays with them throughout their lives.”

A male school-based mentor with a young boy wearing a backpack.

Be a Big and Bring Your Friends

If you’re thinking of being a Big, why not recruit some friends and co-workers to join you? Perhaps your company can take mentoring on as a community service!

Big Brothers Big Sisters encourages local businesses to participate. David Sherman of the organization emphasizes the dual benefit: employees gain from the personal growth and leadership skills developed through mentoring, while positively shaping the next generation’s future.

Interested individuals can learn more about becoming a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. By dedicating an hour each week, you can embark on a rewarding journey as a Big, offering invaluable support to a Little eagerly awaiting your attention.

Read another story about the power of being a Big.


Story sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters

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