Littles who stay connected to a Big show these improved outcomes.
70% of Little Brothers & Sisters have an improved positive sense of the future.
83% of Little Brothers & Sisters have improved self-confidence
78% of Little Brothers & Sisters have improved ability to express feelings.
74% of Little Brothers & Sisters have an improved attitude toward school.
Know a Little Who Could Use a Big?
It all starts with the right role models. And Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick is the place to start a relationship with one. Thanks to corporate and private donations, we’ve been able to recruit, screen, match, and support mentoring relationships that have changed the lives of hundreds of hundreds of young people in our community.
Families as Partners
As a parent or care giver, you recognize the potential of your child better than anyone. By giving them the opportunity to be part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, you’re starting them down a path to an even brighter, more promising future.
When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we’re all in this together. So it should come as no surprise that we need the parents and guardians of Littles to be involved every step of the way, starting with the initial match.
Not only will you provide information about your child’s strengths and needs, but you’ll also approve the selection of the Big Brother or Big Sister. Once the match is made, you remain closely involved in many ways, including:
- Approving activities and outings for your child and their Big
- Asking your child questions about those outings and sharing feedback with the agency staff
- Reporting your child’s progress and milestones to the agency regularly
- Participating in training on child safety offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff and communicating with your child about the training they receive.
In our school-based Lunch Buddies program, Bigs and Littles meet at the same time and school each week for one-to-one meetings. They might share a lunch hour, play checkers, work on a project, or have a good conversation!
The once-a-week After School Bigs & Littles Program offers youth the opportunity to develop skills needed to thrive by building safe, healthy relationships with screened, trained, committed high school student volunteers facilitated by BBBS staff.
BOWDOIN BEARS & CUBS
We partner with Bowdoin’s McKeen Center to match Bowdoin students with local children to share time and friendship. Activities on the Bowdoin campus for six Sundays per semester include games, crafts, sports, swimming, projects, and more.
Community matches involve one-on-one outings and activities outside of school. Matches meet 2-4 times a month and do things they enjoy together, such as taking a walk in the park, going to a museum, listening to music, cooking, playing games, or simply just hanging out and talking.
Making the best possible match between Little and Big is critical to the growth and development of a child. But before we begin the matching process, we start by thoroughly screening potential Bigs.
Big Brothers Big Sisters National Standards of Excellence require each volunteer to complete an extensive screening process that includes:
- Completion of a formal written application
- Background and reference checks
- An in-person interview
- An orientation and training process that outlines the individualized needs of your child and provides information and resources on how to encourage your child’s development
We also provide child safety tips and training to you and your child, and we welcome your questions and feedback. Throughout the match, our professional staff will supervise the match partnership in ongoing communication with you, your child, and your child’s Big. It’s the best way to build a strong relationship that will have the greatest significance on your child’s future success.
To Become a Little, a Child Must:
- Be ages 6 to 16 at the time of match
- Be resident of Brunswick, Harpswell, or Sagadahoc County
- Be available to participate in activities with their Big regularly (school-based programs 1 time a week; community based 2-4 times a month)
- Like the idea of having a Big Brother or Sister
- Be able, along with their parent/guardian, to communicate regularly by telephone with BBBs staff and the child’s Big .
- Be willing to make a minimum one-year commitment once they are matched
Steps to Enroll a Child
1. Complete the Child Application (see right). (Mentoring relationships are only successful when the child wants to be matched with a Big.)
2. Schedule an interview with BBBS staff to review the application and discuss the Little's needs and interests. For school-based programs, BBBS staff will set up a time to intervew the Little at their school. Our goal is to get to know the child well enough to make the best match.
3. When we think we have a volunteer who would be a good fit with the Little*, we will call you to share information about the potential volunteer to see if you think he/she is a good fit. If you and the Little agree that the potential volunteer sounds suitable, we will set up a match meeting to introduce everyone. At this point, the match relationship begins!
Once a match is made, Big Brothers Big Sisters' high-quality Standards of Practice require ongoing contact with Bigs, Littles, and parents. For community-based matches, that means a monthly connection to confirm that Big and Little are getting along well, ensure child safety, and support the relationship. School-and-site-based programs will have an initial second-week check-in with the parent/guardian and monthly check-ins with Bigs and Littles. Our agency will always work for the best interests of the child.
3 Easy Ways to Enroll
*Please note: Once the application process is complete, the Little will be placed on our waiting list for a Big Brother or Sister. Please understand that the wait for a suitable match can be lengthy, as our ability to match children depends entirely on volunteers approaching our agency to get involved.
Your location and preferences regarding a potential Big may influence your child’s waiting time. BBBS staff remains in contact with families during the wait and may request updated information from time to time.