Because having a friend helps
The Big Brothers Big Sisters program at Whitesville Central School provides site-based one-to-one mentoring for children ages 6-14 who are struggling in school academically or socially and who would benefit from a positive role model peer. Because of their experience in the BB/BS program, children who were at risk for drug abuse, violence, and dropping out of school become caring, competent and confident individuals who are contributing members of their community.
For over two years now Jake and Tyler have been matched in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program at Whitesville Central School. Each week they meet for about an hour and participate in sports, crafts, educational, self -esteem building and team building activities with other matches. The boys look forward to seeing each other each week and it is very rare that they ever miss a meeting. Their favorite things to do together are to play chess, checkers and talk about politics.
Since meeting with Jake, Tyler has improved his grades and overall academic performance. He has also demonstrated a better relationship with his peers. Some other things teachers have noticed are an improvement in his attitude towards school, increased class participation and better behavior in school.
When asked what they like about each other Jake responded, “I like Tyler because he always has an opinion about something.” When Tyler was asked the same question he said, “I like Jake because we always have something to talk about.” Just by watching them, it is very clear that the boys enjoy each others company.
This match has been one of the program’s many successes throughout its nine years in the school district. Although Jake will be graduating this June and their match will then end, both boys have taken away from this experience lessons and memories that will last a lifetime.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters program at Whitesville Central School is a partner agency of Allegany County United Way. For more information on this program, contact Erica Grantier Big Brothers Big Sisters Site Coordinator at Whitesville School: EGrantier@whitesville.wnyric.org.