Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Big Buddies Is A BIG Success in Area Schools

This picture features,volunteer mentor, HS student, Maria Pannapara, age 15, a Lehman High School student, daughter of John and Tery Pannapara. Next to her looking at camera is Ashlyn Moton, 6 daugher of Ashely Clegg of Sidney, Elena Mendoza, 6 daughter of Katherine Mendoza and Arturo Mendoza of Sidney and High School Mentor Jessica Hilyard 17, daughter of Bob Hilyard and Dottie Allen. Jessica is a high school student at Jackson Center. The group of bigs and littles are enjoying some recreational time during the after school program at Whittier recently.

The program, which began in September of 1998, started with nine high school volunteers and since has grown to over 100 volunteer mentors from Shelby & Darke County. Through the program, sophomores, juniors and seniors are matched up with local youth and the “matches” meet twice a month throughout the school year. The High School “Buddies” work together with their “Littles” on activities that focus on educational and social enhancement, as well as fitness, healthy eating, and personal safety. All activities are planned and supervised by the Big Brothers Big Sisters staff.

The locations for the 2012-2013 Big Buddies program included sites in Sidney at Northwood, Longfellow, and Whittier elementary schools, as well as Darke County sites in Greenville at Woodland Heights elementary school, and Versailles elementary schools.

Big Brother Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke County is a United Way member service agency and an affiliate organization of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. The Big Buddies program was partially funded through several local grants such as Monarch Legacy Fund, Vectren, Harry Stephens Fund, Amie McClurkin Grant administered through the Hope Foundation, Cargill, Ruth and Emerson Booher Foundation and the DP&L Foundation.

High School mentoring programs have become widespread thoughout the BBBS National movement. Jennifer Bruns stated, “these programs are not only beneficial to the elementary students but have a very valuable impact on the high school volunteers. These high school students are learning responsibility and making a commitment to impact the life of a child.”

Also coming this summer will once again be the Daffy Duck Derby and 5k Duck n Run/Walk scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013. You can purchase your duck tickets by contacting the agency. Duck adoptions sell for $5.00 per duck, or 6 for $25.00. The Grand prize for this years’ event will be a $1,000 shopping spree. There are many other great prizes. There are many options for area businesses to get involved as well. You can also log onto our website at www.bigbrobigsis-shelbydarke.org for more information on the Duck Rack and the 5k Run. Credit card purchase may be done on line or over the phone. This years’ goal is $25,000

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