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OUR PROGRAMS

COMMUNITY-BASED

Community-Based Mentoring follows the traditional mentoring format in which a child (or “Little”) is matched one to one with an adult volunteer mentor (or “Big”). Children aged 8-16 who would like to be a Little are eligible to participate. We currently enroll youth in Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, and Yates counties. All of our Bigs are over 18 years of age and have been screened, background checked and trained prior to being matched with a Little. Our Bigs must also have their own car and commit to mentoring a child for at least one year.

The role of a Big is to serve as a mentor, positive role model, and friend to their Little. All matches are professionally-supported by BBBS in which Bigs regularly provide feedback about their match and receive support and guidance from agency professionals.

Bigs and Littles are matched according to shared interests, hobbies, personalities, and geography. Once matched, the Big picks up the Little at their home each week to go out and explore their community and partake in recreational or educational outings and activities driven by the age and interests of the Little. These match outings typically last a few hours and can take place on weekends, evenings, or whenever works best for the Big, Little, and Little’s family. Bigs and Littles plan their outings and activities together which must be approved by the Little’s parents or guardians in advance. BBBS encourages no-cost to low-cost activities for matches to participate in such as:

  • Taking a walk in the park or a hike in nature
  • Going to a museum, movie theater, or community festival
  • Riding bikes
  • Getting ice cream
  • Doing arts and crafts
  • Cooking or baking
  • And more!

These simple experiences make memories that will last a lifetime and are important opportunities for Littles to be heard, supported, and guided in a positive manner.

Parents/guardians are involved in each step of the mentoring process and are active participants in the match relationship. They must provide permission for their child to participate in the program, approve the selection of the Big Brother or Big Sister for their child, regularly report their child’s progress and milestones to the agency, and interact with their child’s Big on a regular basis.

BIGS IN BLUE

Bigs in Blue is a Site-Based mentoring program that matches youth (or “Littles”) one to one with police or law enforcement officers as mentors (or “Bigs”).  As it is Bigs in Blue, all mentoring takes place at the Little’s school.

Littles are ages 8-16. All of our Bigs are at least 18 years of age and have been screened, background checked and trained prior to being matched with a Little. Our Bigs commit to mentoring a child for at least one school year, with confidence that the relationship will last longer.

The role of a Big is to serve as a mentor, positive role model, and friend to their Little. These trusting relationships help Littles develop social skills and confidence. They also help build strong bonds between law enforcement and the communities and families they serve.

Bigs and Littles are matched according to shared interests, hobbies, personalities, and geography. All matches are professionally-supported by BBBS in which Bigs regularly provide feedback about their match and receive support and guidance from agency professionals. A BBBS staff person also closely monitors each match.

Bigs in Blue matches meet at least twice per month during the school year. Bigs often come into the school on their lunch break and meet with their Little for about one hour. Activities matches often do together are:

·        Eat lunch

·        Play in the gym

·        Play games

·        Build with Legos

·        And more!

During breaks from school, Bigs are encouraged to communicate with their Littles over text messaging, phone calls, or emails to maintain and continue to grow the match relationship. After one year as a match, Bigs in Blue are eligible to go Site-Based Plus, in which they continue to meet at program and can also meet monthly outside of program or at an agency event.

If you want more information on the program, contact Krista Schrader, Community Match Specialist at kschrader@bbbsr.org.

Ron & Little

HIGH SCHOOL BIGS

manny and andrew

School-Based Mentoring matches elementary school students (or “Littles”) one to one with high school student mentors (or “Bigs”). Littles are in grades 3-6 and Bigs are in grades 9-12. Both elementary and high school students are nominated by their teachers to participate in the program and are screened, interviewed, matched, and closely monitored by a Big Brothers Big Sisters staff person. Bigs and Littles are matched according to shared interests, hobbies, and personalities. Our Bigs commit to mentoring a child for two years with minimal absences from the program.

The program meets during the school year for one day a week after school. Matches meet for approximately one hour (time varies by school) at the elementary school where they engage in a variety of social, recreational, and/or educational activities under the supervision of a BBBS staff person.

Examples of these activities include:

  • Arts and crafts
  • Board games
  • Gym activities
  • And more!

If the elementary and high schools are separate, Bigs are bussed over to the elementary school using school transportation. A light snack is provided at the program. During breaks from school, Bigs are encouraged to communicate with their Littles over text messaging, phone calls, or emails to maintain and continue to grow the match relationship.

Participating Schools:

  • Dundee Central School
  • Geneva City Schools
  • Greece Central School District
    • Arcadia High School and Lakeshore Elementary School
    • Olympia High School and Longridge Elementary School
  • Marcus Whitman Central School
  • Midlakes Schools
  • Penn Yan Central School District
  • Victor Central School District
  • Wayne Central School District

MENTORU

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MentorU is a 1-to-1 high school mentoring program, focused on career readiness, workforce skills development, financial literacy, and social-emotional skills that are in demand by employers.  (College preparation is a focus for students when applicable.) We are preparing to launch this new program at various Monroe County High Schools.

The MentorU program will provide screened and trained volunteer mentors that will electronically communicate with a student each week and face-to-face every 4-6 weeks.  This unique enrichment program focuses on personal development, growth mindset creation and maintenance, goal-orientated and problem-solving skill-building, and lifelong emotional intelligence enhancement.  The students selected for MentorU are facing academic and personal challenges. MentorU will be an essential resource in keeping them on track for graduation and success, expanding soft skills, such as social-emotional aptitude, and developing them into growth mindset learners for life.

MentorU matches every student with an adult volunteer mentor, based on shared career and/or personal interests. Students have MentorU class time once-a-week, in which they complete a lesson at their school with their teacher-coach. Volunteer mentors communicate with their students online (in Microsoft “Teams” platform, free with Office) through guided prompts.

Students and mentors discuss various topics in their weekly electronic exchanges, which will include skills such as:

  • Perseverance
  • Critical thinking
  • Self-advocacy
  • Goal-setting
  • Career goal
  • College preparation
  • Planning for the future.

They will also work on researching career options and networking opportunities, access to trade skills training, college options, and college/job applications.

For more information contact Dan Behan, MentorU Program Specialist at dbehan@bbbsr.org.

BEYOND SCHOOL WALLS

Beyond School Walls is a Site-Based mentoring program that matches middle school students (or “Littles”) one to one with adult volunteer mentors (or “Bigs”) from a local corporation. As it is Site-Based, all mentoring takes place at the Bigs’ workplace.

Littles are in grades 6-8. All of our Bigs are at least 18 years of age and have been screened, background checked and trained prior to being matched with a Little. Our Bigs commit to mentoring a child for at least one school year, with confidence that the relationship will last longer.

The role of a Big is to serve as a mentor, positive role model, and friend to their Little. Bigs and Littles are matched according to shared interests, hobbies, and personalities. All matches are professionally-supported by BBBS in which Bigs regularly provide feedback about their match and receive support and guidance from agency professionals. A BBBS staff person also closely monitors each match.

The program meets during the school year either once per week or once every other week. Matches meet for about one hour in a group setting at the Bigs’ workplace where they participate in fun, STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Math) activities under the supervision of a BBBS staff person.

Examples of these activities include:

  • STEM projects planned by Bigs or BBBS staff person
  • Critical thinking games
  • Constructing circuits
  • Arts and crafts
  • And more!

The program provides crucial opportunities for Littles to develop new skills and experience careers and professions they may not have known were possibilities for them.

Littles are bussed from their school to the Bigs’ workplace, and back to school after the program using school transportation. During breaks from school, Bigs are encouraged to communicate with their Littles over text messaging, phone calls, or emails to maintain and continue to grow the match relationship. After one year as a match, Beyond School Walls matches are eligible to go Site-Based Plus, in which they continue to meet at program and can also meet monthly outside of program or at an agency event.

Participating Schools:

  • Canandaigua Middle School
  • Henry Hudson School No. 28

Participating Companies:

  • Canandaigua National Bank
  • L3Harris Technologies

For more information contact Krista Schrader, Community Match Specialist at kschrader@bbbsr.org.