Ways to Make a Difference

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Community-Based Mentoring

Community-based mentoring is the flagship program of Big Brothers Big Sisters. We match adult volunteers in one-to-one relationships with children who are looking for mentors.

All participants commit to a minimum involvement of 18 months, which ensures strong friendships with lasting positive outcomes. Volunteers are now needed in Johnson County, Oskaloosa and in the West Branch area.

Volunteers meet with their Little Brother or Little Sister on a regular weekly or bi-weekly basis for fun activities of their choice.

BBBS provides a professional staff member to support the relationship. Our ongoing role is to answer questions, provide assistance, and keep you informed of agency and community resources.

 


School-Based Mentoring

Big Brothers Big Sisters school-based mentoring is currently paused, due to COVID-19. This program brings one-to-one mentoring into local schools to provide a strong relationship and support to students. Participants meet for an hour each week.

Volunteers visit with their Little Brother/ Sister at the same day and time each week during school hours. We provide games and activities. Other options included reading together, eating lunch, working on academics or just hanging out and talking. School partners help identify youth who are good candidates for this program. 

School-based mentoring provides a friend to a child who may benefit from a little extra help and guidance. Until COVID, we offered this option at 14 area schools in Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty and Tiffin.

Relationships start at the beginning of the semester and last throughout the school year, with some phone and/or mail contact during the summer months. A 18-month commitment is required, and a 24-month commitment is encouraged. All Big Brothers and Big Sisters in the school-based program go through a screening process as well as a training and orientation session.

School-based mentoring is a collaboration between the Iowa City Community School District & Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Supported by Harney Oil Company, River Products Company, and MidWestOne Bank



After School Clubs

Big Brothers Big Sisters partners with 4-H to host after-school clubs in both North Liberty and Solon.

Youth and mentors engage in group activities as well as 1-on-1 relationships. A 4-H Youth Specialist uses student interests to design and lead a fun hands-on experience that is fresh and unique every week. Students and mentors do activities in leadership, STEM, art, cooking, healthy living, career readiness, service, mindfulness, and more, and participate in three field trips annually. (Walking field trips a possibility in 2020-21 due to COVID-19.) We create a fun and safe environment for experiential learning, while also helping club members build a supportive relationship with a caring adult.

For the 2020-21 school year, the North Liberty club meets on Wednesdays from 3:45-5:15 pm at the North Liberty Library.
The Solon club meets on Thursdays from 1:45-3:15 pm at Solon Middle School.
Regular club attendance necessary during the school year (on days school is in session), from the week of October 26th, 2020 through the week of May 31st, 2021.

An 18-month commitment is required, and a 24-month commitment is encouraged. Regular contact facilitated when the club is not meeting in person (winter break, summer break, etc.)

This program is supported by a Johnson County Juvenile Justice Youth Development (JJYD) grant

E-Mentoring

E-mentoring is the newest program of Big Brothers Big Sisters, emerging as a result of the pandemic. We match adult volunteers in one-to-one relationships with children able to meet virtually. Meetings are typically conducted over Zoom, with youth who are 10+ years old, and for shorter meetings than in-person meeting. Options may include either during the school/business day, or on evenings/weekends.

Because this program is so new, we expect more hiccups than in our more established programs, so patience and communication are essential skills of a volunteer Big. 

All participants commit to a minimum involvement of 18 months, which ensures strong friendships with lasting positive outcomes. 

Volunteers meet with their Little Brother or Little Sister on a regular weekly or bi-weekly basis for talking and/or fun activities of their choice. BBBS provides ongoing guidance and ideas for activities. (See our Resources page for a sample.)

BBBS provides a professional staff member to support the relationship. Our ongoing role is to help you and the other match participants to have their best experience possible. We answer questions, provide assistance, and highlight agency and community resources.