Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for five more mentors, according to Kira Thomas the mentoring co-ordinator.
“I would really like to provide mentoring programs to the outlying schools as well as here at 100 Mile Elementary. Forest Grove specifically has been advocating for supports for their students. So I’d really like to help support them and meet that need but in order for that to happen transportation barriers need to be met.”
The in-school mentoring program is one hour a week while school is running during school time, says Thomas.
“In that one hour a week, you’re meant to go and just hang out and spent one-on-one time with an elementary student,” she says. “You’re playing games, you’re doing crafts, you’re playing physical sports, baking, cooking, things like that.”
Mentors would start as soon as possible she says.
“We have three in-school matches running currently, since October, I have 11 more high school mentors that I’m going to match in this month which I’m very excited about and as well as I’m going to be piloting two community matches this month.”
There’s also the opportunity for group mentorship programs (called GoGirls and GameOn) which run for six to eight weeks for two hours at a time with eight to twelve students, according to Thomas.
Forest Grove Principal Mikel Brogan, who’s also on the Big Brothers Big Sisters board, says they’ve indeed been looking for mentors.
“Having kids feeling they have adults to connect with or people who are older to connect with and just to be able to talk and basically learn from is really important,” he says. “You look at a lot of studies and stuff and how important it is for youth to have positive older role models to connect with and how important that can be on their development.”
Ideally, they’d get people that wouldn’t have to travel so far but it doesn’t really matter where the mentors come from, says Brogan.
“We’d really like to have people in the community step up and maybe there are certain people in the community that might not know or value what they can bring but I think there’s a lot of people that have a lot of skills and leadership abilities where that could really be of value to some of our children in the schools.”
Events-wise, there’s Big Night Out happening in Willliams Lake on Feb. 10, an adult prom, that raises money for Big Brothers Big Sisters Williams Lake and the South Cariboo and Bowl for Kids on April 14 themed Wild Wild West.