Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Eastern Shore
- Children & Youth
- Education & Literacy
Location200 West Main StSalisbury, MD 21801 United States
There are two core Big Brothers Big Sisters programs: Community-Based Mentoring and Site-Based Mentoring. There are also several program variations in which Community or Site programs address specific categories of children, volunteers or partners and their particular needs or the opportunities they present. Variations may occur in location (where meetings take place), frequency (how often volunteers and youth meet), duration (how long their relationship continues) and activities (what they do together when the meet).
Volunteer "Bigs" provide children, "Littles," individualized time and attention at least twice a month during community-based and guardian-approved activities. During unstructured weekly or bi-weekly outings the match develops a relationship in which the Little gains new skills, explores new interests, and participates in activities that expand the Little's experience-base beyond the child's family or neighborhood. Over the course of time, children gain confidence in themselves, acquire new skills and competencies, and develop an enhanced capacity to care for others.
Volunteers offer Littles individualized time and attention on a consistent basis, at a pre-determined site under staff supervision. Teachers and administrators refer the youth and the match meets regularly during the school year - typically each week, utilizing the resources available within the site: computer labs, the library, the gym, a classroom, or the schoolyard. With parental permission, Bigs and Littles may have email and phone contact. Matches that do not have permission can exchange letters and post cards through BBBS during school breaks. Agency sponsored events are offered to participants and their families during the summer months.
To participate in a match process a volunteer must satisfy the following criteria:
a)Volunteer must be 18 years of age.
b)Volunteer is able to commit to a match relationship which includes seeing a child consistently (2-3 times per month) for at least a period of a year. College Students are required to commit for a period of at least two years.
c)Volunteer shows a willingness to maintain regular communication with the agency .
d)Volunteer demonstrates a willingness to consent to take part in the interview and screening process.
e)Volunteer agrees to adhere to our policies and sign the agreement form.
f)Have reliable transportation to the program site. For community programs; must have a valid
driver's license, a safe driving record and the MD state minimum automobile insurance.
Criminal history background checks are conducted by an outside professional company. A copy of the volunteer's driver's license is required to verify identity (the copy is placed in the physical file). The following are completed for each volunteer: an in-state criminal; an out-of-state criminal if volunteer has resided outside of Maryland in the last 10 years; social security verification; sex offender registry check; and a motor vehicle record check.
Pre-match Training is provided individually to volunteers at the time of the Interview and through materials which are given to volunteers, parents/guardians and youth.