Thursday, August 23, 2012

Announcing: Mother 2 Mother Program

Reaching out to Teenage Mothers

Mother-2-Mother (M2M) is a new program at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Washington (BBBS-NW) designed to empower pregnant or parenting teenage mothers to be the best moms and students they can be. Through one-to-one mentoring, we will match these teens with experienced mothers who will guide the teen moms as they navigate high school and motherhood. We hope to see these girls succeed in school, develop nurturing bonds with their babies, learn vital parenting skills, and believe in their own potential.

Why do we need M2M?
  • Each year, over 200 babies are born to teenage mothers in Whatcom County alone.
  • On average, only 40% of teen mothers continue their education after becoming pregnant.
  • Teen mothers have a 20% re-pregnancy rate, meaning that one in five will become pregnant again before finishing school.
How will it help?
  • Data collected from our BBBS sister agency in New York showed that, when mentored, teen mothers’ likelihood of continuing their education rose to 90%.
  • Additionally, the New York data showed that the mentored teen moms’ re-pregnancy rate was just 2%.
How is M2M different than traditional community-based mentoring?
  • All of the mentors will be mothers themselves, and hold at least high school degrees. This will allow them to share parenting and academic advice, as well as emotional support.
What is expected of our mother mentors?
  • Our screening process includes checking the potential mentor’s driving history, doing a background check and calling three references.  We also conduct an extensive interview.
  • Our required 8 hour training gives mentors the tools they need to support their teen mom.
  • Monthly match support calls from BBBS-NW staff ensure the match is thriving.
  • Attendance at the quarterly mentor forums will give mentors on-going support and training.
For more information please phone our office at 360.671.6400.
Visit our website for further details on all our Mentoring Programs.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Your Little Brother or Sister is waiting for you

The Need for Mentors

What if every child in Whatcom and Skagit Counties had all of the support and guidance they needed to graduate high school? Avoid drug and alcohol abuse? Apply for and achieve the career of their dreams? Consider the impact that would have, both on the children and the community. Of the children enrolled in our programs, 82% live in low income families, and 68% live in single parent households. By mentoring a child you are providing fresh perspectives, supporting positive self-esteem, and being a role model for vulnerable children in our community.

Start Something
bigger than yourself.

Mentoring leaves a positive lasting impact on the life of the mentored child, giving them a chance to avoid a lot of life’s many pitfalls like drinking, drugs, gangs and dropping out of school. When compared to their non-mentored counterparts, children with mentors are:

  • 33% less likely to use violence to solve a problem.
  • 46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs.
  • 52% less likely to skip school.
  • 97% less likely to become involved with the juvenile authorities.
  • 87% more likely to graduate high school.
  • 75% more likely to receive a college degree.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to School (Buddies) Time!

It's almost fall, and school will be starting soon, which means that the School Buddies program will be starting back up with it! School Buddy matches meet for an hour a week on school grounds, during school hours, giving kids all the benefits of mentoring within their own academic environment.

School Buddies offers a regular schedule and a slightly lower time commitment than Community-Based mentoring. It's perfect for students, full-time workers, or anyone who just misses recess! By just having fun together for one hour each week, you can help a child stay in school and on the right track.
School Buddies mentoring makes school fun! As a school-based Big Brother or Big Sister, you can improve the life of a local child simply by spending one hour per week at his or her school.

More details on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of NW Washington School Buddies Program

School Buddies is an innovative approach created by Big Brothers Big Sisters to reach a more diverse population of children. The program is designed to improve youth’s social skills as well as foster academic performance. The volunteer meets with the student on the school campus, once a week during school hours, for a minimum of one school year. They play games, shoot hoops, just hang out or work on homework. We have found that programs that encourage activities with a socio-emotional focus are more likely to have greater academic impact, higher quality and longer duration compared to programs that focus on academic/tutoring activities.

The essence of creating strong mentor-student matches is the careful selection, training and support of volunteers. Applicant processing includes a Washington state criminal background check (including fingerprinting), two written references, and an in-person interview.

Mentoring DOES make a difference.

Students involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters’ School Buddies Program were assessed by teachers, parents and volunteers for two consecutive school years. The results were very encouraging. They:

·        developed more positive attitudes toward school.
·        achieved higher grades in math, social studies and languages.
·        experienced improved relationships with adults.
·        experienced improved relationships with peers.
·        were better able to express feelings.
·        developed increased self-confidence.
·        were more likely to trust their teacher.

Check out for more information, or call (360) 671-6400 today.

Your Little School Buddy might already be waiting for you!