Mentoring a LITTLE is a BIG deal

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie, Niagara and the Southern Tier ignites the power and promise of children and young adults through one-to-one mentoring.

Big Brothers Big Sisters offers local children evidenced-based, best practices mentoring through three different program models each designed to best meet the needs of the child. Each program model provides the child with a mentor who focuses individualized attention on the child’s needs and an opportunity for the child to build social, emotional and educational skills.

Community Based Mentoring

Takes place in the community.

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Community Based Mentoring  is the traditional Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring relationship. The volunteer (Big) and child (Little) meet in their community to spend a few hours together, 2-3 times per month, doing things they both enjoy. The schedule is flexible to meet the needs of both the Big and Little, including spending time together on the weekend or in the evening. Each mentoring match is unique and develops a schedule that works for them.

Each mentoring relationship has the support of an agency professional to work closely with the Big, the Little and the Little’s family to ensure everyone gets the most they can out of the mentoring relationship. The agency staff member maintains regular contact with everyone involved to ensure the safety and quality of the relationship, keep the volunteer up to date on agency events and to provide any additional support.

Volunteers for this program must be at least 18 years of age and can range from students to retirees and everyone in between.

Site Based Mentoring

A LITTLE friendship and guidance can open some BIG doors.

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Site Based Mentoring (SBM) is one-to-one mentoring that takes place in a structured setting at a local school or community center.

Although SBM does not take place in a classroom and it is not tutoring, students may talk with their mentors about school, ask for assistance with homework or read together. Putting the focus on friendship and guidance, Big & Little match activities might include creating craft projects, an interactive presentation with a community speaker, participating in a group activity, or simply playing a board game or coloring while talking about their day.

A Big Brothers Big Sisters Coordinator is present at each visit to help these relationships grow through various planned recreational, educational and cultural activities.

In addition to adult volunteers, this program is also open to high school students that have completed the tenth grade.

High School Bigs Mentoring

Takes place in partnership with a school district.

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High School Bigs Mentoring (HSBM) allows high school students to meet the growing mentoring needs of our community. The goal of HSBM is to provide elementary, intermediate, and high school students with a healthy friendship within their school community and an opportunity to grow and learn from one another.

Mentoring relationships meet at a set time and location with the support of a Site Coordinator. The HSBM model is unique because there are positive measurable benefits for both the high school student (the Big) and the elementary or intermediate student (the Little).

The HSBM Program is currently provided in partnership with a local school district, including Lewiston-Porter, Cleveland Hill, Maryvale and Niagara Falls City School Districts.

Group Mentoring

Utilizes a Mentor Advocate for mentoring youth one-to-one and in small group settings.

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Group Mentoring provides mentoring and advocacy for youth referred through partner organizations using both individual and group interactions that specifically reinforce educational, vocational and life skills that are necessary to avoid risky behaviors, graduate from high school and go on to secondary education or a skilled trade.

The youth and young adults in this program go out into the community with a Mentor Advocate and a trained and supported member of Big Brothers Big Sisters. The Mentor Advocate plans activities to provide opportunities for participants to gain or develop competencies that can be classified as life skills, vocational, educational and/or community service. The Mentor Advocate also takes an active role in the young person’s academic life by creating a bridge between school and home life.

Partner with Us

Contact us to learn more about about mentoring programs and how to ensure the continued success of these programs for children in your community.

For more information, contact:

Maryam Busshart
Director of Programs
Phone: (716) 873-5833 ext. 223
Email: maryam.busshart@bbbsenst.org

A BIG Thank You to Our Program Funding Partners!

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