Be a School-Based Mentor to Help Improve a Child's Life
A school-based mentor with a teenaged mentee.

Imagine an elementary school child who comes from a family that is facing challenges, who is struggling to fit in at school and succeed academically, and who feels frustrated and alone. These problems may cause the child to not be engaged in class and act out, making the existing problems worse.

Then imagine that same child who has a school-based mentor who comes to school every week to spend some quality time eating lunch together, reading, or playing on the playground. Imagine what a difference it would make in that child’s life to have a caring adult who is a role model and mentor.

Big Brothers Big Sisters knows how essential it is for young people to have mentors in their lives and how that relationship helps a child build confidence and resilience. 

Of course, kids who need mentors aren’t just those having trouble succeeding. In a recent survey of teachers, 95% of them said every student can benefit from mentoring, with 82% of educators saying they saw improvements in academic performance for mentored students and about the same percentage saying mentoring helped students build skills they need for success. 

In addition, another report showed that mentored students are less likely to skip school, more likely to volunteer in their communities, and much more likely to hold leadership positions. All because an adult decided that spending quality time with a young person was valuable!

A woman and child playing on the swings at a playground.

School-based Mentoring With Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region’s school-based mentoring program matches Littles, school-aged children, with Bigs, their volunteer mentors. Mentor applicants are screened and interviewed, then provided training to help them learn how to interact and succeed with their Little. 

Once trained and matched, the Bigs meet with their Littles at school during lunchtime one day a week. There they can eat lunch, play on the playground, go over homework, read a book together, talk about whatever is on the Little’s mind, or even do some fun project the Big brings along. Lunchtime with their Big is often the highlight of a Little’s week!

By donating just an hour of your time each week, you can make an invaluable difference in a child’s life. Recruit a friend to be a Big, too, and you can spend lunch with your adult friend and your new Littles!

Successes with School-Based Mentoring

Anne was an elementary school principal at a low-income school in California that had a mentoring program staffed with volunteers recruited from local businesses and state agencies. She saw firsthand the difference in the behavior and academic performance of students who had mentors.

“Students with mentors felt valued because an adult was willing to come spend time with them each week,” Anne explained. “They felt heard because they had someone to talk to about problems they were facing and get some advice. If they got in trouble, their mentor could talk it out with them and help discuss better ways to resolve problems. It was heartwarming to see the looks on their faces when they saw their mentor coming, just to spend lunchtime with them!”

Anne saw how students with mentors gained resilience, an important personal quality that helps them learn to deal with life’s challenges. She said, “Everyone faces problems throughout their lives, and people who have developed coping skills and resilience can handle them better than those who find themselves overwhelmed by them. Mentoring has been shown in many studies to increase a child’s resilience, something that stays with them throughout their lives.”

A child and adult's fists bumping.

Get Your Business Involved

Many businesses encourage their employees to get involved in the community. By working with Big Brothers Big Sisters, you can develop a culture at your business of volunteering as Bigs.

As David Sherman of BBBS Mountain Region says, “Joining the Big Brothers Big Sisters School-Based mentoring program is a game-changer for your business and our community. By dedicating just a little of your time and resources, you can make a BIG impact on the lives of young students who need your guidance and support. It’s a win-win – your employees become mentors and role models, fostering personal growth, leadership, and teamwork, while also helping shape the future of our next generation. So, why wait? Step up, be BIG, and ignite a spark of change today!”

Read more about the impact on a child’s life by being a Big here, in a story by David Sherman.

You Can Be a Big

Do you have an hour a week you can give to help improve a child’s life? Learn more about being a school-based mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region here. You can request additional information through the website, then begin your adventure in being a Big to a Little, a child who is waiting for you.

Story by Cheryl Fallstead 




Big Brothers Big Sisters logo



This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

Please Share!

Featured Businesses