The Buddy Program
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.
Our School-Based Mentoring program is built on partnerships between Whitfield and Murray County community volunteers and Big Brothers Big Sisters NWGA Mtns. Volunteers include high school students, college students, corporate volunteers, and retirees. The goal of these partnerships is creating mentoring friendships between these volunteers and children attending an elementary, middle, or high school of their choice. Each of these volunteers is matched with a youth at one of the participating schools and meets with that youth for an hour once per week at the school.
Some of the biggest supporters of our Buddy Program are actually teachers and counselors. They see students come back from their time with their Big filled with confidence, smiling big, ready to learn and eager to succeed.
The key attribute of this school-based approach is that the teacher or counselor is much more engaged in the relationship, providing access (with parent’s permission) to the youth’s academic performance. The mentor supplements and reinforces what’s happening in the school in a collaborative effort to develop the desired personal, social, and academic attributes.
Learning About Life:
Although it takes place at schools, our Buddy 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 play a board game, 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.
At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we have tremendous confidence in our ability to impact children and put them on the right path. But it means even more when an outside study comes to the same conclusion. Learn more.
The Beyond School Walls Workplace Mentoring model is a one-to-one Site-Based Mentoring program through which youth from a local school meet with an employee volunteer mentor weekly during the school year. This new program initiative introduces middle school youth to jobs early in their middle school years, allowing them to experience what it means to work for a corporation or government agency and the educational requirements needed to achieve professional success, all while building a strong and supportive mentoring relationship. This program model has been structured based on other Big Brothers Big Sisters workplace mentoring programs from around the country that have been proven successful. The program meets at the corporate location. Our first partnership began in 2018 between Eastbrook Middle School and Shaw Industries. If you would like more information on how to begin a program at your corporation, please contact us.
Future Workforce Leadership Academy
The Future Workforce Leadership Academy is a one-to-one Site-Based Mentoring program through which eighth grade students from Dalton Middle School meet with a Shaw employee volunteer mentor at least monthly during the school year. This new program focuses on building leadership skills through different workshops and introduces career paths to middle school students. The program prepares students for high school with the skills that they learn through different workshops.