The Big Sisters Program serves girls aged 6-16 who have limited contact with positive female role models. They are matched with adult female Volunteers who commit to spending 2-4 hours a week for a minimum of one year with their Little Sisters, providing friendship, guidance and support.
Through regular outings, a relationship is developed between the mentor and mentee that is built on trust and common interests. Matches are supported by professional caseworkers throughout the duration of the match. The result is a life-changing experience for both the mentor and the mentee. Mentors teach by example the importance of giving back, of staying in school, and of having respect for family, peers and their community.
The Big Brothers Program serves boys aged 7-16 who have limited contact with positive male role models. They are matched with adult male Volunteers who commit to spending 2-4 hours a week for a minimum of one year with their Little Brothers, providing friendship, guidance and support.
Through regular outings, a relationship is developed between the mentor and mentee that is built on trust and common interests. Matches are supported by professional Mentoring Coordinators throughout the duration of the match. The result is a life-changing experience for both the mentor and the mentee.
In-School Mentoring is a one-to-one encouragement program for boys and girls in grades 1-8. A child and his/her Mentor meet for one hour a week at the child’s elementary school to play games and sports, do arts and crafts, or just hang out and talk. Volunteers commit to a minimum of one school year (they do not meet over the summer break or during other school holidays)
School-based mentoring programs are our fastest growing because they are effective in keeping kids in school. Children who spend time with a mentor gain confidence, competence, and caring. Mentors experience a sense of discovery and enjoyment as they see a world of possibility open up through a child’s eye. It is a small commitment that makes a BIG difference. Besides playing sports or painting during the workday, you’ll be a role model to a student. Through friendship, guidance, and sharing, you ‘ll help build a child’s self confidence.
Volunteers commit to a minimum of one school year (they do not meet over the summer break or during other school holidays).
A study commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada clearly validates the beneficial impact of programs such as In-School Mentoring has on children;
- 90% of mentors saw a positive change in the child they were mentoring,
- 88% of student showed improved literacy skills,
- 76% of students improved their school grades.
Studies show that mentoring helps kids stay in school, avoid risky behaviours such as bullying, and grow up having more respect for family, peers, and their community. Changing young lives can change life in our communities too. Helping children reach their full potential can lead to positive community outcomes like a reduction in poverty and unemployment, safer schools and neighbourhoods, and a new generation of civic-minded adults.
Go Girls! Group Mentoring
Go Girls! is a group mentoring program for girls ages 12-14 that focuses on physical activity, balanced eating and self-esteem. The single, most important goal of the program is to positively shape the lives of young women and girls by helping them build a positive self-image – setting them on a path to reach their full potential in life.
The Go Girls! program consists of 7 mentoring sessions, held over a 7-10 week period, during school hours within school facilities. Each 1 hour-long session is loosely structured around four themes: physical activity, healthy eating, self-esteem, and communication skills.
The program strives to do the following:
- create appreciation for the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle
- build understanding of what constitutes healthy eating habits and the risks associated with eating disorders
- promote the importance of positive mental activity and regular physical exercise
- encourage awareness of core values, personal interests, strengths and attributes
- support the development of leadership and life skills
- offer guidance in establishing and maintaining friendships
- and above all, make a difference.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has longstanding partnership with Ridley College in which once a month during the school year,grade 11 and 12 students from Ridley College engage with children off of the waitlist by playing games, creating craft projects, and other special activities. The purpose of the program is to for the children to create friendships, learn positive social skills, gain confidence, and engage in physical activity. Transportation is arranged for those families who do not have access to it. Events are typically on weekends and are two hours in length.
Game On! Group Mentoring
Through non-traditional physical activities, along with healthy eating information, participants are engaged in developing life skills, communication and emotional health discussions, designed to help participants in the pursuit of life-long healthy lifestyles. Game On includes seven 1 hour core sessions.Sessions are structured around four themes:
- Physical activity
- Healthy eating
- Communication skills
Game On is designed to provide mentors with an opportunity to openly discuss current and pressing issues facing boys and young men through the lens of healthy living, build appreciation for the benefits of healthy eating habits, promote physical exercise, instill respect for socio-economic, ethno-cutural, and racial diversity, encourage leadership skills and independent thinking. Creating opportunities for a relationship to develop based on trust, provides a key opportunity for each boy to be positively supported in challenging the pressures they face in today’s society.Volunteer Application