Spending time together out in the local community is primarily how Bigs and Littles develop their relationship. After all, to change a child’s perspective of the world, it helps to spend some time out in it.
Through this program, you and your Little Brother or Sister will spend time together once a week in the community. You can go to the park, watch movies, go to sporting events, go skating, and so much more. This includes being a Big to a child being raised by a single parent or who has a parent or guardian who is or has been incarcerated. Similarly, other children we serve are older and include struggling high school students or teen moms. These teens need a positive influence, and the extra support of knowing that someone is there to talk, motivate them to stay in school, and be a dependable friend. We encourage you to fit your Little into any activity that you think is fun!
At Big Brothers Big Sisters we build relationships and brighter futures for children in Forsyth County. Only 71% of Forsyth County 9th graders will graduate from high school in four years. Statistics like this are bad for our community and more importantly, bad for our children. Early intervention in elementary school is integral in establishing critical foundations for grade to grade promotion, engagement, and ultimately high school graduation.
With our Site-Based Program Big Brothers and Sisters spend time with their Little Brother or Sister at school and are paired with students referred by school personnel and/or parents/guardians. We offer opportunities in elementary, middle, and high schools across the county. In this program, Bigs can eat lunch, play games, read, or simply talk with their Little. This program is relationship driven and volunteers are encouraged to remain matched with the child throughout their school-age years.
Partner / Couple matches
Partner / Couple Matching is designed to serve children with special needs who could benefit from a Big Brother and a Big Sister relationship while offering flexibility to the partner / couple. Although the intake, screening, matching, and supervision procedures are similar to one-to-one matches. One difference is that both partners will play a vital role in the relationship while seeing the child together and separately.
Partner matches are typically between friends, co-workers, etc. and can be comprised of the same or mixed genders. Mixed gender partners will be matched with a boy. Couple matches are typically mixed gender adults, and they will also be matched with a boy.
Club of Unmatched Littles
The Club of Unmatched Littles (C.O.U.L.) typically has more than 100 children who are being served by team members through group enrichment activities such as painting at Sawtooth School for Visual Art, sporting events at Wake Forest University, Summer Enrichment classes and more. Other fun events include Big for a Day where companies in town, including PepsiCo and IMG, will invite C.O.U.L. kids to their corporate team building events.
This is a pairing of an elementary age child in Davie County who is enrolled in the YMCA after-school program with a volunteer or Big Buddy that is typically a high school age student. The Big Buddy is expected to see the child once a week after school, and all interaction takes place on-site at the YMCA after-school location. These match relationships are designed to build the child’s confidence, caring, and competence. Students at Davie County High School and West Forsyth High School are currently able to participate in Big Buddy.
In the 2017-18 school year, Big Brothers Big Sisters began working with repeat ninth graders and struggling tenth graders at Davie County High School. The program is called S.M.A.R.T. Mentoring (Students Maximizing Achievement, Relationships and Time).
Big Brothers Big Sisters’ goal is to serve these repeat ninth graders and/or struggling tenth graders in a one-to-one mentoring relationship with a focus on improving their academic status. Bigs will visit their Littles during their S.M.A.R.T. lunch period (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) once a week for one year, and a group mentoring session will take place once a month.
Kristian, a recent high school graduate, said his mentor changed his life because he was on a path that would have led to joining a gang, but his Big Brother showed him that he could have a better future.
“He made me see the good in life, more than just gangs. Every year school gets harder for me, but talking to my mentor helped me overcome my problems,” he said. “Now I don’t want to just fit into a typical stereotype. I want to educate myself and make everyone proud of the young man I’ve become. It’s all because of my Big Brother.”
According to 2015-16 data from Davie County Schools’ annual report, for the first time since 2006-07, the dropout rate for Davie County Schools increased from 2.49 to 3.4. Despite the increase, this rate is lower than the dropout rate five years ago, in 2010-11, when it was 4.02.
“Big Brothers Big Sisters is excited to partner with Davie County High School to provide one-to-one mentoring relationships to repeat ninth graders and struggling tenth graders,” said Jenna Hendricks, Director of Programs for the agency. “We are determined to find mentors who will help these students graduate.”
Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC)
Big Brothers Big Sisters Services serves youth in Davie County through its life skills and community service restitution programs with a grant from the Department of Juvenile Justice. This program serves juvenile justice involved youth as well as those who are at high risk of becoming delinquent.
This program works directly with middle and high school youth and their parents/guardians to assist them in developing the critical skills they need in order to improve their outcomes and put them back on the road to success.
Students participating in the program benefit from a combinations of services including 12 weeks of group life skill building sessions utilizing an evidence based curriculum, individual meetings with a trained program specialist, and two sessions for parents designed to enhance protective family factors.
Team members work closely with juvenile court counselors, law enforcement, and school counselors and administrators in order to establish and reach goals set for each student. By being a part of a positive learning community with an evidence-based curriculum, students will improve their resilience to drugs and risky behaviors and develop a strong feeling of self-worth while receiving critical skills on how to improve relationships.