Who can volunteer?
You can! A “typical” Volunteer (Big Buddy) is a caring responsible man or woman who is over the age of 18. Our Volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and from all walks of life.
What is the basic time commitment of an In-School Mentor?
One hour per week, during school hours, for a minimum of one year. Big and Little Buddies do not meet over summer vacation or other school holidays.
Am I the right age to volunteer?
The minimum age to be an In-School Mentor is 18. There is no maximum age limit, as long as you are in good health and maintain an active lifestyle.
How old are the Little Buddies?
The children are in grades 1-6, and are approximately 6-12 years old.
What are the children’s backgrounds?
They have been identified by their teacher as children who could benefit from the friendship and extra attention from a caring, stable adult. They may be shy, have low self-esteem and may be having trouble making friends. They may come from a single-parent family, or they may live with both parents.
Our programs are friendship-based and are not designed as a form of intervention for serious individual or family problems. Teachers identify Little Buddies as children who may have trouble connecting with peers, need a little confidence or could us a bit of extra attention.
What do the children like to do?
Weekly visits take place at the child’s school, so you may have access to the school’s facilities. Big and Little Buddy friendships are non-academic, so you won’t be tutoring them. It’s all about FUN! You and your Little Buddy may choose to play outside, shoot hoops, or kick a soccer ball around. Or you can stay inside and read, do arts and crafts, play computer games, or just hang out and talk.
We make every effort to match Big and Little Buddies based on similar interests and personalities.
Does the agency stay involved in the friendship?
Yes. We provide on-going support and monitoring. Each Big Buddy has a dedicated mentoring coordinator who is available to deal with any questions or concerns that come up. Regular phone contact is expected as are regularly scheduled meetings to discuss the progress of the friendship.
At the child’s school, there is also a Big Brothers liaison (school staff member) so if anything comes up during your meetings with your Little Buddy, there is someone who can immediately help you.