Friday, September 13, 2019

J. Michael Beard Community Fund contributes to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County

Mike Beard was an active resident of Darke County, dedicating himself to his family, church, friends, and work at the Darke County Highway Department. Mike was fond of being outdoors, particularly at county or state parks, where he enjoyed hiking, fishing from the family boat, and/or going camping. His family chose to extend his legacy throughout the community via non-profit grants and scholarships through the Darke County Foundation.

The J. Michael Beard Community Fund, in conjunction with Darke County Foundation, recently awarded a grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County. The grant will be used for Darke County Big Buddies after-school mentorship programs within Ansonia, Greenville, and Versailles School Districts. Big Buddies is a nine-month commitment where high school students volunteer two times per month to mentor elementary students. During these meetings, high school students, under the supervision of Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, work with one or two children on different educational and recreational activities. During the 2019-2020 school year, the agency will be utilizing the Peace Education Foundation’s “Peace Works” curriculum which focuses on violence prevention, social & emotional development, conflict resolution, mediation skills, character & values, and bullying prevention.

Last school year, Big Brothers Big Sisters served 94 students under the age of 18 in their after-school Big Buddies programs throughout Darke County. High school mentoring programs have become a widespread component of many nationally affiliated Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies. Studies prove that children who spend time with a positive role model are more likely to become healthy, productive adults. This donation will allow Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby & Darke County to expand and continue their Big Buddies programs in Darke County.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a non-profit United Way member agency. If you would like to defend the potential of a child, either through volunteering or financial contribution, please contact the agency at 937-492-7611, 937-547-9622 or go to for more information.

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