Big Brothers Big Sisters brings prevention through school-based mentoring
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County helps youth in need develop caring, competence, and confidence through professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationships. This School-Based Mentoring Program matches students with caring community and business members who develop relationships with and foster social skills and academic success in a child during the school day.
The program is a national, research-based model where mentors or “Bigs” meet with their “Little” for one hour each week at the child’s school. Through regular engagement in activities, conversations, recreation, and skill building with their mentor, students build a friendship with an adult that cultivates resiliency and life skills, makes a positive impact in their lives today, and helps build hope for their future.
A study conducted by Public/ Private Ventures found that children who meet regularly with their Big are 56% less likely to skip school, 33% less likely to be violent, and 42% less likely to use drugs or alcohol. Additionally, the study showed that students develop more positive attitudes towards school, achieve higher grades, improve their relationships with peers and adults, express their feelings better, develop higher levels of self confidence, and trust their teachers more.
Elementary School children in the Middletown District are referred to Big Brothers Big Sisters through school guidance counselors and administrators, and must have a parent’s or guardian’s permission to apply and enroll in the program. Volunteer mentors currently come from the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Orange Regional Medical Center, Scholarships and College Planning, Inc., and the community. Each is interviewed, screened, fingerprinted, and trained before becoming a school-based mentor.
Every match relationship will be assigned a professional mentoring manager to provide support and guidance, and to ensure match quality and safety through regular contact with the volunteer. Mentoring managers also have regular contact with the student as well as school administration, and end-of-year evaluations will be completed by the child’s teacher to measure progress and success.
For more information about the School-Based Mentoring Program, please contact Daniel Benotti at 342-3939 x29; 253 South William St., Newburgh, NY. 12550 or visit www.MentorAChild.org.