Polk Big Brothers Big Sisters seeking volunteer mentors

Published 8:00 am Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Polk County Big Brothers Big Sisters organization is currently seeking volunteers for its school mentoring program.

In the Big Brothers Big Sisters school mentoring program, volunteers 16 and older complete an enrollment process. Mentors are then matched with a student to meet for an hour each week at the child’s school during the school day or after school program.

High school students who are considering community service options or senior project topics may be able to serve as school mentors and gain valuable experiences while helping a younger student, representatives said. Through the NC Promise program, state employees may be allowed community service leave to mentor in public schools, so employees can check with employers about this opportunity.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Considering the wealth of knowledge and accumulated wisdom attained by retirees, this is also an ideal opportunity for senior citizens and others to share time with youth during the day, representatives said. 

Volunteers meet with the assigned student to help with school work or reading, in addition to relationship-building activities like playing chess, making a crafts project or playing a board game. Mentors develop a friendly relationship with the child by offering consistency, encouragement, support and role modeling.

Students participating in the program typically improve in academics and self-confidence.

Big Brothers Big Sisters operates on the belief that within each child is a special spark that, when provided with inspiration and encouragement, will lead them to become a more positive, productive citizen of the community and the world. A mentor can help guide a child to reach his or her potential.

BBBS has students on the waiting list for a school mentor at Tryon Elementary, Sunny View Elementary and Polk County Middle School, and also has openings for children 6-14 years old in their traditional community-based program.

Those interested in volunteering or enrolling a child can visit the BBBS website at bbbswnc.org, email polk@bbbswnc.org, or call 828-859-9203.

– Submitted by Karen Dacey