PROGRAMS

Big Brothers Big Sisters strives to provide a mentor for every child who needs or wants one.  We serve children from all walks of life but we pay particular attention to the children who need us most, including those living in single parent homes, growing up in poverty and coping with parental incarceration.

Our programs are available in Thurston, Mason, Lewis, Pacific, and Grays Harbor counties.

Community Based

Many relationships between Bigs and Littles fall under our Community-Based programs. These are one-to-one outings and activities, doing things they enjoy together, like:

  • Taking a walk in the park
  • Going to a museum
  • Visting the local farmer’s market
  • Listening to music or doing arts and crafts
  • Hanging out and talking

Some Bigs meet their Littles on the weekends. Others get together with their Littles in the evenings. Each match is unique and develops a schedule that works for them. All Bigs and Littles make a commitment to be matched for at least one year.

HARK

Since 2008, the Olympia Mountaineers and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Washington have partnered together to provide at-risk children the opportunity to be outside, active and engaged in healthy behaviors. The Olympia Mountaineers and Big Brothers Big Sisters staff carefully plans each outing and matches (an adult mentor and the youth he/she is matched with) attend together. The monthly outings have included snowshoeing at Mt. Rainier, bike trips, hiking and rock gym adventures. The Mountaineers Foundation, the Alpine Experience, the Tacoma Mountaineers and REI are helping to make this partnership possible through funding, donations, equipment loans and discounts.

Volunteers are essential to the success of this program. If you would like to assist by leading hikes or participating in outings, donating equipment for outings, or contributing to support the HARK program, please contact HARK Committee Chair Patrick Chaffeur.

Site Based

School Based

It may sound obvious, but sometimes the best place to help a child realize their potential is at school, and kids enjoy having their Bigs meet with them there.

Bigs meet with their Littles during the school lunch hour. There have different areas of focus for our school based programs:

  • Academic improvement (focus on math and reading)
  • Military connected children (available in select elementary schools in the North Thurston school district)
  • High School Bigs

School-Based programs are currently available in the following counties and districts for the 2015-2016 school year:

  • Thurston County: Yelm and North Thurston School Districts
  • Lewis County: Chehalis and Centralia School Districts
  • Pacific County: Raymond, Ocean Beach Willapa Valley, and South Bend School Districts

Contact us to learn more about exact location and meeting times.

Community Center Based

Bigs meet their Little at a local community center, typically one hour a week after school. This allows matches to build a friendship within a structured setting with professional staff support nearby. The activities can include whatever appeals to the Big and Little – from shooting hoops and hanging out to reading a book together.

This program is currently available at the following locations:

  • Tumwater Boys and Girls Club
  • Southside School (Shelton)
  • Olympia Boys and Girls Club
  • Nisqually Middle School

Contact us to learn more about meeting days and times.

MILITARY STUDENT MENTORING

Military Student Mentoring is a school-based mentoring program for military connected youth. Volunteers spend lunchtime with their “Littles” once a week at a North Thurston elementary school.

Special Programs

Youth Impact Project

School Completion and Vocational Training for Incarcerated Youth

This program is conducted in partnership with the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council. One of our trained staff meets with and trains incarcerated youth and young adults on work place readiness skills. Once they are released, the program assists in finding them employment, and matches them with a mentor to meet in groups of 3-4 youths in order to talk about challenges, achievements and give further guidance.

To become a mentor for this program, or for more information, contact susan@swwabigs.org.