Our no-cost to families mentoring programs strive to reach young people who are facing adversity and are in need of an additional, supportive relationship. Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies formally match young people with an adult, volunteer Mentor. Mentors are professionally trained and supported to ignite the unique power and potential of each Mentee. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides every match with access to a professional Caseworker who provides support to the Mentee, Mentor and family. Current research suggests that young people are more likely to flourish when they are embedded in a web of relationships with supportive, caring adults. This is the essence of Big Brothers Big Sisters programs  – providing the relationships that young people need to succeed and realize their full potential!

COMMUNITY-BASED 1:1 PROGRAMS

These mentoring programs (for example Big Brother, Big Sister) occur in the community setting and provide children and youth ages 6-18 years old (mentee) with an additional, caring and consistent adult (ages 18 +) role model (mentor) to talk and share the experiences of growing up with.  The pair build a healthy, caring relationship that is supported by our experienced mentoring coordinators and can last a lifetime.

The program requires weekly scheduled outings in the community and a minimum of a one-year commitment.

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In-School Mentoring

The In-School Mentoring (ISM) program matches children and youth (in grades 1-8), identified as needing additional support, with Mentors who act as a role model and friend. Mentors meet with their Mentee at their school and engage in activities such as board games, crafts, sports, cooking and more!

Common referral reasons include: lack of school engagement or poor school attendance, lack of self-confidence/self-esteem, lack of social skills or friendships, experience with bullying others or being bullied and lack of respect for authority figures.

Visits occur in local DSBN and NCDSB schools for one hour a week during the school-day, for the duration of the school year.

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BIG FOR A DAY

Sometimes, Big Brothers Big Sisters is not able to match children and youth with a one-to-one mentor immediately. These children and youth are assigned to the “waiting list” until a suitable mentor is found.  Occurring on a bi-monthly basis, these events and opportunities are planned in order to provide meaningful engagement, a sense of belonging and involvement while our clients wait for their 1:1 Mentor.

Big For A Day volunteers bring clients to these staff-led activities, and volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of 4 outings per year.

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YOUNG PARENT MENTORING PROGRAM (YPMP)

Young Parent Mentoring Program (YPMP) matches young parents, aged 25 and under, with a caring mentor for bi-weekly social engagement and mentoring.

The program is founded on the premise that a happier, healthier young parent will lead to better educational, social, and emotional outcomes for not only themselves, but for their child as well.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara works alongside numerous community partners for the implementation of this program, allowing the young parents to be more connected to opportunities and the larger community of Niagara.

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Group Programs

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Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds!

Go Girls! is a group mentoring program for female-identifying students ages 11-14 (grades 5-8) that focuses on physical activity, balanced eating and self-esteem.  The Go Girls! program is held over a 7-10 week period in local schools and community partner settings.  Additional goals for the program include healthy lifestyles, goal setting, risk management, friendship building and emotional wellbeing.

Volunteers for this program are typically college and university students.

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Game On! Eat Smart, Play Smart!

Game On! is a group mentoring program for male-identifying students ages 12-14 (grades 6-8) that provides participants with information and support to make informed choices about a range of healthy lifestyle practices.  Through non-traditional physical activities, complemented with healthy eating support, participants are engaged in life skills, communication and emotional health discussions designed to encourage the pursuit of life-long healthy lifestyles.  The Game On! program is held over a 7-10 week period in local schools and community partner settings.

Volunteers for this program are typically college and university students.

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AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM

The After-School Program is a group-based program that occurs in schools for children and youth in grades 1-6. It runs over a seven-week period with each week focusing on a different theme such as healthy eating, diversity, creativity/wellness, and team work. A healthy snack is provided.  A minimum of two mentors facilitate the program.

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