Big Brothers Big Sisters offers two distinct mentoring programs: Community-Based and Site-Based. Our Community-Based Mentoring Program utilizes volunteer Big Brothers and Big Sisters from the community being matched with a child (Little Brother or Little Sister) after participating in an enrollment process which includes an application, in-person interview, and background and reference checks. Bigs meet with their Littles once a week, sharing fun outings and taking part in activities they each enjoy such as going to the playground, a museum, or simply "hanging out" and having a chat. Community-Based Bigs must be 18 years of age or older and may share activities with their Littles anywhere in the community. Our Site-Based Mentoring Program utilizes community volunteers ages 14 and older who meet on the campus of the child's school or other community location during the school day. Together, they work on homework, play games in the gym, participate in activities on the playground, hang out in the library, or take advantage of any other activities that the school might offer. In this program, matches (a volunteer/child relationship) meet for one hour a week, every week, for at least one school year. Currently, our Site-Based Mentoring program operates at nine area elementary schools (six Title I schools) and six Boys and Girls Clubs, and three YMCA locations. We have found that our Site-Based Mentoring programs are especially beneficial for children whose parents or guardians would not otherwise enroll them in out Community-Based programs.
Based upon the latest census numbers, there are just over 287,000 school-aged children in Las Vegas. We take that number and know that a certain percentage of those children are seriously at-risk for a number of negative behaviors such as involvement with drugs or alcohol, truancy, other involvement with the juvenile court system, school dropout, etc. Based upon that percentage, our agency should be serving that number of at-risk children and providing them with a positive role model and friend. If we served that population of children, we would have over 4,980 Little Brothers and Little Sisters in our program. We have a long way to go to reach that number and meet the urgent needs of those children, but by partnering with other community organizations and donors such as you we can reach those children who are in desperate need of our services.