Youth Serving Agencies form Partnership to Provide Mentors at Wareham After-School Program
This fall, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands (BBBSCCI) expanded their services to include an additional program in the Wareham and Onset region. Partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Wareham (BGCW) and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA), a new Site-Based Mentoring Program was launched on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 to serve youth at the Boys & Girls Club.
In this expanded program model, cadet mentors, “Bigs”, travel to the Boys & Girls Club once a week during the school year to meet with their mentees, “Littles”, for approximately 1 hour. The program model is based on a 1:1 mentoring friendship, and seeks to provide a unique mentoring experience with a quarterly visit to the MMA Campus, exposing children at a younger age to the idea of secondary education.
“The purpose of the program is to provide an additional, positive, adult role model to a child who could benefit from 1:1 attention,” says JR Mell, Regional Director for BBBSCCI. “We know our program works because of research. A child who is matched with a mentor, for at least a year, shows significant progress in youth development, academic achievement and behavior.”
“The Boys & Girls Club of Wareham is very excited about this partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands along with Massachusetts Maritime Academy,” said Kenny Fontes, Unit Director for BGCW. “This hits home as over 65% of our members are from single family homes, low to extremely low income and some do not have siblings to share their thoughts and feelings with.”
To ensure success of this program, the Boys & Girls Club has extended their hours once a week for kids in this program and helps to coordinate with an onsite staff member. Due to the timing of the program, 5:30pm-7pm a generous donor has helped to sponsor dinner for Bigs & Littles. In addition, MMA is providing transportation for cadets, ensuring their ability to be a consistent Big.
“Massachusetts Maritime Academy is honored to be part of the BBBSCCI programs in Bourne and Wareham and quite proud of our incredible cadets who give so generously of their time,” said Francis McDonald, Rear Admiral for MMA.
BBBSCCI began serving the Wareham & Onset regions following the absorption of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater New Bedford, with the larger BBBS agency serving Eastern Massachusetts. There is currently a need for mentors, especially male mentors, for the agencies traditional community based programs. Those in learning more about becoming a volunteer mentor can contact JR Mell at 508-771-5150 x101 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands, the Boys & Girls Club of Wareham, or Mass Maritime Academy, please visit their respective websites: www.CapeBigs.org, www.bgcnewbedford.org/wareham-unit1, www.Maritime.edu