At Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central and Southern Interior (BBBSCSI) our mission is to enable life changing Mentoring relationships to ignite the power and potential of young people, and our vision is for all young people to realize their full potential.
Our Mentoring agency’s existence goes back over 50 years and was created in direct response to community needs. The Programs and Strategies we offer are research and evidence-based, accessible to all students, and delivered in partnership with local schools during school hours.
The benefit to today’s community in the Central and Southern Interior of British Columbia is even greater as the demands on our children and youth have changed. Healthy development of children and youth is critical to the continued well-being of our communities. Children and youth are our future. The quality of their early lives and their healthy integration into civil society is important, not only to the on-going process of social health and renewal but also to our safety and security.
All of our staff members are professionally trained, with a degree and training in Social Work, Education, Health Sciences, or the equivalent. Our agency partners with local schools, community volunteers, and practicum students.
All BBBSCSI staff and volunteers continue to follow Provincial Health and School District Guidelines. Our staff are fully vaccinated and volunteers are required to show proof of vaccination to apply to be a mentor with our agency.
Information for Schools and Parents/Caregivers
Did you know that one positive Mentor can make a significant impact on a child’s life? At BBBSCSI, we believe unlocking a child’s true potential creates a future where anything is possible. We offer programs and services that meet our communities’ needs as well as follow BBBS Canada’s National Standards. To ensure quality programming and child safety, we work in direct partnerships with local schools. To register a student, class or school to access our services please directly contact our Interim Program Manager, Sarah Thompson, by email: Sarahk.Thompson@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca or by phone: 250-267-3183.
See below for some frequently asked questions from schools regarding our programs. Please note that all programs and services are being offered virtually until further notice.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Q: What are the steps to match a student with a Mentor/Study Buddy?
- Someone from the school will contact BBBSCSI to let them know they have a student they would like to have matched with a Mentor. The student must be aware of this process and wanting to participate.
- A BBBSCSI staff member will send a Student Nomination Form (Appendix A) and an Application Form, including Parent Consent (Appendix B).
- A staff member (such as a teacher, principal, counsellor or LART) will become the “School Liaison”.
- The student’s teacher will complete a “Student Nomination Form” in order to nominate a student that they believe will benefit from a Mentor. This is then forwarded to BBBSCSI for review.
- The Parent/Guardian will be contacted by the school, the program will be explained to them (if necessary), and they will be given an application and consent forms to complete.
- A copy of the completed Parent/Guardian documents will need to be forwarded to BBBSCSI.
- A Pre-Match Child Safety Training will be completed with the child by BBBSCSI.
- The child will be introduced to their Big Buddy during their first match meeting, which will be facilitated by BBBSCSI.
Q: What responsibilities does the school liaison have?
- Informs BBBSCSI of Mentee’s availability.
- Provides Mentor with relevant school information (tour, map, calendar, available resources, etc.).
- Notifies Mentor in advance if the child is away during regular meeting times or vice versa.
- Knows where Mentors and Mentees will be at all times.
- Checks in with Mentee regularly about the progress of the match.
- Connects with BBBSCSI to set up Match monitoring check-ins, and checks in to share any concerns about the match or positive progress they have observed.
- Match Monitoring is done a minimum of 3 times a year by BBBSCSI.
Q: How long is the duration of the match between the Mentor and Mentee?
A: The match will exist throughout the duration of the academic school year.
Q: If I have any questions regarding the match who do I contact?
A: Please contact the BBBSCSI Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: What age range can Mentee’s be?
A: Mentees can be in Grades 1-8. We have group mentoring services available for students in Kindergarten and Grades 8-12.
Q: What age range can Mentors be?
A: Mentors can be either Teens or Adults. Teen in school Mentors will be in grades 9-12. After Graduation, they can reapply to become an Adult in school Mentor.
Q: When/Where do the Mentors and Mentees meet?
A: Mentors will meet with their Mentees for 1 hour once a week at the same time each week. This will only take place at the school and during school hours. Study Buddies may pre-arrange a set weekly time to meet outside of school hours. All meetings will be held virtually until further notice.
Q: Do any of the BBBS programs run after school hours?
A: Our Study Buddy Program will be BBBS of the Central and Southern Interior’s only after school program.
Q: What is the Study Buddy Program?
A: Please refer to our website for details about our Study Buddy program.
Q: Do you run community-based programs?
A: For child safety reasons, our agency does not run any community-based programs.
Q: How has Covid19 affected the ability for a match to exist?
A: Until further notice, all programs and services will be carried out virtually through safe and monitored virtual platforms. In conjunction with the School Liaison, BBBSCSI will help set this up and provide the Mentors with resources and suggestions on how to make the match a success.
Positively changing Canada
SERVING CANADA’S COMMUNITIES
This year alone Big Brothers Big Sisters impacted over 40,000 youth in over 1,100 communities across Canada.
REPUTABLE AND ACCOUNTABLE
Providing life changing mentoring experiences since 1912, Big Brothers Big Sisters was named One of Financial Post’s Top 25 Charities in 2016.
Every $1 invested in our programming returns between $18-$23 to society through taxes, higher incomes, volunteerism, and charitable donations.
Many children and youth in Canada struggle with societal barriers and face adversities in their lives like detrimental living conditions, family violence, risk factors for mental health, school issues and identity challenges.
These circumstances have nothing to do with the value of who they are or who they can become, but because of these situations, children and youth risk not having the opportunity to live up to their full potential.
Even worse is the possibility of continuing cycles of poverty and crime or developing mental health issues.
This comes at a cost to the young person, and to society.
With the guidance and support of a mentor, these risks can be reduced or even avoided, and youth are reminded they can be anything they dream of being.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is a Federation comprised of 108 member agencies servicing more than 1,100 communities across the country. Together we mobilize over 21,300 volunteers who in turn mentor 41,700+ children and young people. That works out to nearly:
2.2 million volunteer hours each year
Each Big Brother Big Sister agency provides direct service to children by matching volunteers and youths in quality mentoring relationships. Our agency staff members are experts at screening volunteers and matching them with a mentee having similar interests.
The national organization provides services and programs to our member agencies to assist them with their work with parents, mentees, and volunteers. Ranging from staff training workshops to our leading Child Safety Program, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada works diligently to ensure we have superior quality programming in all parts of the country.