Only one person showed up to a Big Brothers/Big Sisters (BBBS) information meeting held at Twin Rivers elementary school. The event was presented by BBBS Cranbrook.
Hosted by Mentoring Coordinators Carly Eldred and Taylor Miller, the session aimed to spread information and gather support for an in-school mentoring program.
While the presentation given by these two young ladies was informative and well put together, the lack of participants was troubling.
Eldred was disappointed by the turnout, and a little surprised, due to a feasibility study conducted from Fall 2012 to early 2013 showing significant interest within the Castlegar area.
“We know there is interest in Castlegar, it’s just a matter of getting those interested to come out and participate,” Eldred said.
Eldred believes kids and mentors alike can benefit from such a program and has been organizing since May, so she isn’t about to give up any time soon.
For Eldred and Miller it now comes down to brainstorming more recruitment strategies and hopefully having another meeting in the near future.
“The sky is really the limit with this. It all depends on community involvement,” Eldred added.
In addition, if the Twin Rivers Elementary project is a success, BBBS would like to expand to Stanley Humphries Secondary school with a teen mentoring program.
BBBS provides children and young people with a friend and role model to talk to and share the experiences of growing up.
The in-school mentoring differs slightly from their regular programs as it only takes place one hour a week during the school year instead of year round.
During this one hour period the volunteer mentors will remain on school grounds and engage in various activities ranging from sports, crafts or just hanging out on the playground.
“It’s not a big time commitment with no payment to sign up and the integration process is very quick,” Eldred said.
The whole operation is very secure, with a full screening done by BBBS to ensure the applicants are suitable to work with the children.
Once child and mentor are matched up they both undergo safety training to further ensure success.
For those who are 19 years of age or older and want to get involved, they can reach Eldred at (250) 489-3111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org