(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – A walk to the park, visiting a museum, going to a BBBS hosted event, listening to music or just talking…it all makes a difference!
Studies show that children who have role models are more likely to improve in school and in their relationships with family and friends. Those kids are also less likely to skip school or use illegal drugs or alcohol. Students who are successful in school are less likely to drop out, abuse drugs, or commit crimes.
It has been the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters to connect children with these valuable mentors since 1904. Friendship is a powerful thing. It’s fun and study after study proves how important it truly is.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio recognizes this and that is why community-based programs exist! The organization offers two basic ways you can meet with your little to build a fun friendship.
- As a Big, you can meet with a Little in the community at a time convenient for both you and the child. You go see a movie, wash your car, or whatever else may e a fun way to spend time with each other.
- Another option is that Bigs and Littles can meet at the Little’s school or another site typically on the same day and at the same time each week. During these weekly meetings, you might work on homework, eat lunch together, play board games, participate in arts and crafts, or simply hang out together.
Community-based mentoring relationships involve one-on-one outings and activities, doing things the Big and Little enjoy together.
And if you’re not the planning or creative type, BBBS helps you out with that too! The organization offers a variety of opportunities that allow you to enjoy different events and activities for free!
Match Activity for 2019
A Night at the Theater: tickets to PAC Broadway Series CB Matches only
Rifle Club Event (April tentative) SB and CB matches
Annual Luncheon- May 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Tuscarawas County Senior Center
Fishing Derby-May 11 at Atwood Lake from 8am-12:30pm CB matches only
Car Wash -June 1 from 11am-1pm at Advance Auto Parts in New Phila Family friendly event SB and CB
Camp June and July SB and CB Littles
BBBS Airsoft Extravaganza- September at War Den Airsoft CB matches only
Uhrichsville Waterpark Event-July 25 from 5-8 p.m. Family friendly event SB and CB
Atwood Back to School Blast- August tentative Family friendly event SB and CB
Halloween Party at the YMCA -October 18 from 6:30-8:30pm- CB matches only
Christmas Bowling Party at Boulevard Lanes- December 8 from 5-7 p.m. Family friendly event SB and CB
Warther’s Woodworking (set up individual times with Dan) CB matches only
Girls’ Night Event – April 11 at Salvation Army – Elizabeth Stephenson will teach etiquette, matches will fix each other’s hair and paint nails CB Matches only
Fire Station Tour on March 30 – CB Matches Only
BBBS holds true to its core values to ensure each child in the program is achieving higher aspirations, greater confidence, better relationships, that they avoid risky behaviors and see educational success.
We VALUE caring adults promoting positive development with youth.
We VALUE children and their families, providing them safe and impactful services.
We VALUE our volunteers, donors, and staff as our greatest assets.
We VALUE integrity, honesty and the highest level of customer service.
We VALUE our partners and collaborations.
How Volunteers Are Selected:
Each volunteer must complete a screening process that includes:
- An orientation and training process that will help to encourage your child's
- healthy development
- Submitting an application
- A criminal history and driver’s record check
- At least three references
- An in-person interview
- Questions about their home environment
- A professional decision about whether they should volunteer with a child
- Big Brothers Big Sisters also provides child safety tips to you and your
child, and we welcome your questions and feedback.
Who are the BBBS Little Brothers and Little Sisters?
Most children in the community-based programs come to the organization through their parent or caregiver. BBBS also reaches out to involve children through churches, youth service agencies, schools and other referral sources.
- Are children from our community who could benefit from having a positive
- adult role model.
- Are children who like to have fun.
- Are ages 7 to 18.
- Consist of more boys than girls waiting for a Big.
- Live in Carroll, Tuscarawas or Holmes counties
- Mostly come from single-parent homes but some may have two-parent
- homes or may be living with a grandparent/other relative.
Types of Community Based Matches
As most Littles come from homes where the fathers are absent and the mothers are the caretakers, Big Brothers Big Sisters tends to get more mothers referring their sons to its programs with the hope that they will find male role models. Rather than make the male Littles wait for same-gender matches, the Match Support Coordinator may determine that cross-gender matches are appropriate if all parties are comfortable with the prospect.
Big Brothers Big Sisters will make cross-racial matches whenever the Match Support Coordinator assess it appropriate and the mentors, parents, and children involved are all comfortable with the prospect. Cross-race matches provide opportunities for both Bigs and Littles to learn more about each other’s cultures.
Couples/Friends can volunteer together to mentor children. Match activities, the time commitment, and supervision of the matches are the same. Couple/Friend matches allow children opportunities to see positive relationships and the benefits of guidance and attention from two adult friends, instead of just one. Due to an agency waiting list comprised primarily of boys, couples are generally matched with male children.
Family members can volunteer together to mentor children. Family match activities, the time commitment, and supervision of the matches are the same. Family matches allow children opportunities to witness positive family environments.
What makes a successful “Big”?
- Emphasize friendship over changing the behavior of the child.
- Are not authoritarian.
- Decide activities together with Littles.
- Are consistent & dependable.
- Have realistic expectations.
- Are patient.
- Focus on having fun.
- Set boundaries and limits.
- Acknowledge that positive impact on the child comes after the
- relationship is built.
- Put a child’s safety and well-being first.
- Does not make judgments on the value systems of the child or their
What a “Big” Is Not
- Financial support
- “Taxi” service.
To make the most of your relationship:
- Be a good friend:
- Listen, have fun, take time to get to know this new person in your life.
- Choose activities that you both enjoy and that will strengthen the bond between you.
- You are financially responsible for your Little when you are doing activities. We advise that you choose low cost, no-cost activities.
- Don’t set out to impose mandatory changes in the Little. Your relationship will grow once your Little trusts you and your Little grows in being more secure, not by your declaring mandatory new behaviors that the Little has to do.
- Be Consistent: Show the child you think your time together is important by being on time and being dependable.
- Volunteers need to commit to mentoring the same child for at least 18 months and to see that child at least two times a month. Additional contact, either in person or by phone, is encouraged.
- Be involved and participate in agency activities: This connects you with other Bigs & Littles and allows your Little to interact with other kids in the program.
- Regularly communicate with your Little, the parents and your Match Support Coordinator: We will contact you each month to provide assistance and give feedback.
- Anytime you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, your Match Support Coordinator is here to help.
- Be patient. Work for a long-lasting relationship.
- Realize that problems may come up: It’s normal for problems to arise in a match relationship. Try to balance your expectations of what it will be like with your Little. and be realistic about how fast the relationship will take to develop.
For more information on how you can get involved and make a difference contact BBBS 330-339-6916