Faculty, staff mentor fifth graders

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Courtesy Photo

Big Brothers Big Sisters still accepts volunteers for once-a-month meetups.

By: Wally Perez

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

This college will participate in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for the second consecutive year.

The program allows people to volunteer to mentor children of all ages who may not have support from adults at home.

The program focuses on pre-K to high school, and volunteers will ideally stick with their “little” throughout their education, Chaye Peña, senior coordinator for student success in partnerships and extended services, said Aug. 27 in an interview.

She is in charge of the college’s program this year.

“The kids have really enjoyed the time in the program and with their ‘bigs,’ and their teachers have seen improvement in their schoolwork and a positive outcome in their mental and emotional state,” Peña said. “Some of the children don’t have a great home environment and we have been able to really make a positive impact with this program.”

This year, 20 faculty and staff volunteers will be big brothers and sisters to 20 fifth grade students at Will Rogers Elementary School, 620 McIlvaine.

Most were part of the program the previous year as fourth graders, she said.

The children meet with their “bigs” once a month on this campus for one-on-one time and activities such as visits to Eco Centro and Scobee Education Center. Their first meet-up will be on campus Sept. 16.

Volunteers must pass a background check and be interviewed by a match specialist. “Bigs” and “littles” are matched based on location, personalities and preferences.

Although the college’s participation is faculty and staff at this time, anyone can sign up for this program and find more information at www.bigmentor.org. It’s not too late to sign up as they are always looking for volunteers throughout the year, Peña said.

If any students are interested in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program or any other volunteer opportunities, they can visit the office of partnerships and extended services in Room 221 in Fletcher Administration Center or visit saccivicengagement.orgsync.com/org/partnerswithapurpose.

Big Brothers Big Sisters has been an organization for over 100 years, and has been active in San Antonio since 1977 helping children develop a positive outlook and reach their potential.

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