Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berks County, PA
- Children & Youth
- Education & Literacy
Location303 Windsor St., Centre ParkReading, PA 19601 United States
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berks County, PA, is committed to providing quality mentoring services to children facing adversity ages 8-19 all across Berks County (kids primarily from single-parent households). We accomplish our mission through professionally directed mentoring programs utilizing carefully screened & trained volunteers. We currently have four (4) mentoring programs in operation?which are provided FREE-OF-CHARGE to our Little(s) and their families.
One-To-One program - our best known program
A positive adult role model (age 19 or older) is matched with a Little Brother or Sister for about 8-10 hours a month for at least 1 year. The Big, Little, and parent decide on what the outings are and when they occur, with guidance and support from Big Brother Big Sister professional staff. Tremendous flexibility exists with this proven program offering. Volunteer close to home, work, or school!
COUL group mentoring program - Club Of Unmatched Littles
Great option for volunteers with time constraints! Supervised COUL activities are held weekly for unmatched Little Brothers and Sisters while waiting to be matched in our One-To-One program. The activities differ each week, and range from informational to educational to FUN!! Volunteer mentors only need to attend 6 activities a year (average 2 hours per activity/12 hours per year). COUL fosters resiliency, encourages goal setting, teaches life skills and provides all COUL Kids with a caring and supportive environment.
TEEN program for teenage Littles
This program is for clients already in our program (COUL and One-To-One), ages 13 and older, matched or unmatched. The program is designed to teach adult-life skills, and helps our teens prepare for the decisions they will need to make after graduation. High School graduation is one of the primary program goals (99% graduation rate!). TEEN meets at least once a month in group form with COUL and/or 1-1 program mentors.
SMART program (Students and Mentors Achieving Results Together)
This program is strictly a school-based mentoring program targeting specific elementary & middle schools in Berks County. College, business professionals, and/or high school students work with elementary or middle school students for at least one hour per week at the school in a carefully supervised setting. This program is currently being held at Conrad Weiser, Hamburg Area, Wilson, and Muhlenberg School Districts.
Volunteers for our school-based programs are limited to those specific school districts served; however, volunteer Big Brothers/Sisters for our community-based programs must be from Berks County, PA; at least 19 years of age; be gainfully employed, self-sufficient, or a full-time college student in Berks County; have access to a car, possess a valid driver's license, and have a good driving history & proof of car insurance; and be willing to complete the BBBS application & training process in its entirety.
All volunteers must agree to undergo a layered background check including -- but not limited to -- PA Criminal Background Check and a PA CHILDLINE check. Prospective volunteers are required to attend training prior to acceptance (one session for group mentors, and a second session for mentors being matched one-on-one). Reference checks and a personal interview will also be required of a prospective volunteer.
Accepted volunteer Big Brothers/Sisters are asked to make a commitment of at least one year to their chosen program.