Monday, 28 September 2015

Guest Blogger: Mentor Barbara Elliott

Written by Barbara Elliott

I retired recently and volunteered for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring Program last September for the first time.  I have two friends who have mentored kids and thought it sounded like a fun thing to do.  I easily manage one hour a week at the local school my mentee attends.  Both her teacher and family members have told me how much our visits mean to this little girl.  All we do is hang out and play together, but she is always so happy to see me.

We have baked cookies, played in the gym and playground, read and played games.  She is very creative and spontaneous and always comes up with inventive things to do.  I never know what to expect!  We have a nice friendship developing and both look forward to continuing to meet in September. 

Best regards,
Barbara Elliott

If you're interested in learning more information about our mentoring programs, please call Cheryl Holmes at 905-985-3733 ext 2. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Could your child use our programs?

Our programs are not just for children who have a single parent anymore...our Mentoring Programs are designed for children in all walks of life.
Big Sister Gill, and Little Sister, Cailey. Read their story here. 

How do you know if your child could use a mentor?

Could your child use improved social skills? Does your child need a friend? Does your child need a non-family member to rely on? Does your child need a non-family member to talk to? Does your child like to have fun? If you can answer 'yes' to any of these questions, than your child could be eligible for a mentor!

Studies show that mentoring helps kids stay in school, avoid risky behavior such as bullying, and grow up having more respect for family, peers and community.

We have different programs available to suit the needs of all children and volunteers.
Our In-School Mentoring Program takes place once a week, for 1 hour, in the school, for the duration of the school year.

Our Traditional Mentoring Program takes place once a week, usually for 3-5 hours (depends on the Big/Little and the activities), outside of school.

We also have a few group programs which are recommended from the school to certain parents. 


All of our programs strive to do the following:
  • provide a role model and a friend for girls and boys.
  • promote the importance of staying in school and healthy relationships with family and peers.
  • instill trust and self-confidence in order to make healthy decisions.
  • encourage leadership skills and independent thinking.
  • and above all, make a difference while having fun.

For more information on each of our programs, please visit our website here.

If you're interested in learning more information about our mentoring programs, please call Cheryl Holmes at 905-985-3733 ext 2.   

                                                                                                                            Big Brother, Mike and Little Brother, Jack. Read their story here.

Monday, 14 September 2015

What if we replaced the word "Mentor" with something else?

If I replaced the word “Mentor” with some other words, would mentoring be less intimidating?

Children/youth in our community are looking for a friend.

Our In-School role models see their match for 1 hour a week in school and do things like crafts, sports, and play games.

Our Traditional supporters usually get together for 3-4 hours a week and hang out, see a movie, take a walk, play games, etc.

Often, our coaches are there to give the child a self-esteem boost. 

Do any of these words resonate with you? If you care about the well-being of children in our community, you can be a mentor to a child! Our long-time mentor, Dave, explains how easy it is, here.

If you're interested in learning more information about our mentoring programs, please call Cheryl Holmes at 905-985-3733 ext 2. or visit our website here.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Guest Blogger: Mentor Krista Duke "I love talking about what's really important right now"

 Written by Krista Duke

I’ve worn a couple different hats since my time at BBBSND. First, I was our Public Relations co-op student back in 2010, now a staff member as the Special Events Coordinator since 2013, an In-School Mentor back in 2013-2014 and a Go Girls Mentor for 2 different sessions in 2014 and 2015. Today, I’d like to talk about my wonderful experiences as a mentor for the Go-Girls Program. 

In the fall of 2014, I ran a Go Girls group-Mentoring Program at Greenbank Public School. Since this program is only 7, 1-hour long sessions, I knew that it wasn’t a huge time commitment, but that the impact could be huge. I loved this program so much because I got to talk to the girls about really important things like healthy eating, staying active, bullying, self-confidence, but also about really relevant issues that are going on today, like the power of what you post on social media, eating disorders, mental health, etc. I don't act like I'm an expert on any of these topics, but I simply share what I know, share any personal experiences (the girls love that) and tell true stories (the girls also love that).

 I feel so passionate about interacting with today’s youth because I get to listen what they think and then pass along my ‘wisdom’ and advice. In the spring of 2015, I mentored a group of girls who were in grade 8, getting ready for graduation, which was a perfect time to segway into talking about all things ‘high school’. Although I’m 10 years older than the girls, it still feels like yesterday I was in their shoes, doing things like dieting even though I didn’t need to, worrying about what people thought of me, and was boy-crazy! 

One of Krista's Go Girls wrote this about her.
I love having my voice heard by these impressionable young girls who have their whole lives ahead of them. I know what I’m telling them is important and that if they really listen to what I’m saying, it could make a huge difference for them. If there is one thing that I say over and over again, in a thousand different ways over the 7 weeks, it’s to be themselves, exactly as they are! I was always telling the girls that in high school, I spent the first 3 years trying to fit in to the popular crowd (which I never did fit in with), and I’ve always regretted it. I was always trying to do what was “cool” and not necessarily what I wanted to do (which was probably staying home watching movies).  When I was in grade 12, I finally realized that I didn’t care what the popular kids thought of me, because I realized that people liked my crazy, weird, different self, something that I had tried to hide for so long. I was able to be loud, sang off-key often, dance around in the halls and wore whatever I felt like. Grade 12 was the best year of my high school career because I made friends based on who I truly was. I tell that story to my girls to hopefully set them free to be whoever they want to be, and not to be scared or intimidated in high school.

This year, I plan on running another Go Girls Program with the hopes of telling those girls the exact same thing. I want to empower these young women, and this program makes it so easy to do that. I show up every week, for 1 hour, read what I’m given, and talk openly with the girls about what’s really important right now. I can’t wait to meet the next group of my Go Girls!

If you're interested in learning more information about our mentoring programs, please call Cheryl Holmes at 905-985-3733 ext 2.  

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Do you have 1 hour a week for 7 weeks?

 Do you have 1 hr/week for 7 weeks?

TIME is often the one thing that holds people back from wanting to mentor.

Mentoring may be easier than you think. 

If you're under 30, you can run a Go Girls or Game On group program that only takes 1 hour per week, for 7 weeks, and then that's it, you're done! Best of all, both programs are so structured, and we provide you with ALL materials/supplies you need, so all you need to do is follow the program each week and interact with the boys or girls.

Go Girls! is a program designed for girls in grade 7 and 8, and focuses on healthy eating habits, social trends and how to handle them, being physically active, self-esteem and self-confidence.

Game On is designed for boys in grade 7 and 8, and focus on being physically active, working on social skills, and healthy eating, and emotional health.

Both of these programs are fun, simple to implement and so rewarding, for both you and the kids in the program! 

If you are over 30, you can run a Kids In Motion program, which also runs 1 hour per week, for 7 weeks. Find more information here.

To find out more information about these and other programs we offer, visit our website here.

If you're interested in learning more information about our mentoring programs, please call Cheryl Holmes at 905-985-3733 ext 2.