The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to the lives of children – one of these being activity involvement. As many school, community, and sporting events continue to be canceled, children struggle with being isolated and bored at home; therefore, Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio puts importance upon children being provided with opportunities for asset building, social connectedness, and fun.
The staff at Big Brothers Big Sisters encourages mentors to participate in both in-person and virtual activities with their mentees as these both contribute to a sense of normalcy and provide educational, social, and emotional value. A variety of resources and topics are utilized to facilitate match relationships and encourage youth development. These activities, resources, and topics are great for families, as well.
Being able to have fun with a parent, mentor, or other caring adult provides encouragement and support to children.
The curriculum used by the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ staff focuses on social emotional learning. Children can create a positive thinking journal where they write about things they are grateful for, an event they are looking forward to, or a person who is special to them. Goal-directed behavior can be the focus when children are encouraged to write their goals and then examine them throughout the year to see what has been accomplished. Mentors and parents can teach children grounded techniques to improve upon self-management. And, children can develop social awareness through role playing and practicing taking the perspectives of others.
Additional examples of social emotional learning activities can be found at www.bigs4kids.com. Along with these, the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ staff has compiled a list of local community activities and virtual resources.
Local Hiking/Biking Spots
Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail
Bolivar Aqueduct McDonnell Towpath Trailhead
Boone Hollow Wildlife Preserve
Dundee Falls Trailhead
Tours – Virtual
Educational – Virtual
Art and Music – Virtual
Zoos – Virtual
Big Brother, Josh, and Little Brother, Carter, attended a computer workshop at Kent State University Tuscarawas.
Big Sister, Brittany, and Little Sister, Tiana, created woven wall art the Pindrop Shop.
For information about how to get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, please call (330) 339-6916 or visit http://www.bigs4kids.com.