Big Brothers Big Sisters matches youth (Littles) ages 6-14 with volunteer mentors (Bigs) in professionally supported one-to-one relationships. They have fun together doing everyday things with the results of improved academics, greater self-confidence, and stronger family relationships.
Matches come together through our three essential programs:
Community Based Mentoring
In just a few hours a couple times a month, Bigs and Littles meet in their community to share fun activities and a little bit of themselves. If you know how to be a friend, you know how to be a Big.
This is the traditional Big Brothers Big Sisters relationship and is the most flexible. They typically meet 3-4 hours per week, but timing is based on individual schedules.
Getting together is fun. Since Bigs and Littles are matched for compatibility, they usually have things in common from the beginning. It doesn’t require expensive activities or special occasions. Share the simple things you already like to do. Things like….
- Shooting hoops
- Playing a board game
- Sharing a pizza
- Taking a walk or bicycling in the park
- Just hanging out and talking
High School Bigs
High school students meet an hour a week with elementary school students at the elementary school site. BBBS staff coordinates and supervises the match meetings, and a representative is always available for match support. By playing sports, games, drawing, or talking together, Littles develop and improve their academic and social skills.
These are the current elementary school sites we serve:
- Alpha Elementary – Madera, CA
- Madison Elementary – Madera, CA
- Parkwood Elementary – Madera, CA
- Cutler Elementary – Tulare, CA
- Palm Elementary – Tulare, CA
- Golden Elementary – Tulare, CA
High school students from second semester freshmen through senior level are eligible from participating schools.
The following is a list of participating High schools:
- Madera South High School – Madera, CA
- Orosi High School – Tulare, CA
Thanks to the Fansler Foundation and Jack-in-the-Box Foundation for helping fund the High School program.
Site Based or Lunch Buddy Mentoring
We are sadden to report, due to the lack of funding we are currently unable to conduct our Lunch Buddy Program.
Just one hour a week at a local school or other community site is all it takes. You eat lunch together, play sports or board games, make crafts, do general homework, or just talk.
It is not a tutoring program, but national research shows that of those who participated in a school program:
- 58% improved their school performance
- 65% showed higher levels of self-confidence
- 55% had a better attitude toward school
Mentors listen, guide, care, and have fun. The impact of mentoring shows in matches of at least a year, so we ask volunteers to commit that long, if possible. But when you’re having fun, time flies.
Abigail’s mother was concerned for her nine year old daughter because of her low self esteem, intense shyness, and poor academic performance. Abigail’s father is a drug user and was verbally abusive to Abigail’s mother when they were together. He has not been a part of either of their lives since Abigail was a year old. Abigail’s family lives in a very impoverished area.
Abigail has now had a Big Sister for over a year. Her whole demeanor has changed. She is outgoing, talkative and smiles from ear to ear. As a 3rd grader, she is in advanced classes with 4th and 5th grade students and, for the first time ever, is enjoying school.
Abigail hopes to be a fashion designer when she grows up.
*Name has been changed