Having a positive adult role model can make a lasting difference in the life of a child. In today’s world of single parenting and dual incomes to support a family, kids often feel left out. Many of them spend too few hours with positive role models in their lives.
To help address this need, MaineStay offers an on-site evening mentoring program in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Participation is open to students in grades 4-8 who live or attend school in Maine Township and limited to 20 matched pairs of the same gender. Meetings are held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month from 6-7:30 PM at the Maine Township Town Hall. There is no cost for youth to participate.
The program involves a combination of group activities and one-on-one time with mentors and youth in a safe, structured environment. Group games and activities focus on the social and emotional development of youth and include themes such as academic success, avoiding risky behavior, relationship building, and increasing confidence. Activities include homework help, discussions about bullying, how to create a healthy snack, simple ways to relieve stress, and much more. Group field trips will be planned to off-site activities a few times per year. The goal of this program is to help youth take positive steps towards academic and future success. All mentors undergo a thorough screening process, which includes an application, interview, background check, and training. No outside contact between mentors and youth is permitted.
If you would like to enroll your child in the program, please contact Anne at 847-297-2510 x272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is an example of a success story that has already come out of our mentoring program. (All names have been changed and stories are used with permission.) Could your child be our next success?
Mateo, who wants to become President when he grows up, joined our mentoring program because he believed he could benefit from having a mentor help him with things he doesn’t understand. Together, Mateo and his mentor, Enrique, have focused their match one-on-one time to improve Mateo’s confidence in his abilities and to explore his interest in the STEM field. Moreover, they have been able to bond over their shared interest in science and technology and love of Puerto Rican food. Mateo and Enrique have participated in group activities that have helped Mateo improve his relationship with peers and encouraged him to think creatively. While their match is still less than one year old, Mateo and Enrique have demonstrated considerable growth in their rapport with one another and both are constantly speaking favorably of each other.
Independent research shows Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs have a measurable, positive impact in children’s lives. In a nationwide study, Little Brothers and Little Sisters were:
- 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs
- 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
- 52% less likely to skip school
- 37% less likely to skip a class
- more confident of their performance in schoolwork
- one-third less likely to hit someone
- getting along better with their families
If you want to make a lasting difference in the life of a child and have 3 hours per month to volunteer as a mentor, please visit our mentoring volunteer opportunities page for more details. We are especially looking for male mentors.