Each Wednesday we will be posting on our blog! Make sure to check back often and see what’s going on at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the 7 Rivers Region. We will post about upcoming events, success stories and other exciting things in the community and about mentoring!
This week we would like to introduce to you: REACH. REACH is an initiative that we started in 2015 in which Big Brother Big Sisters partners with community businesses or groups to provide our matches with a fun, hands-on learning experience. Included in REACH is our Girls RULE initiative, which is structured activities for our female matches.
REACH is based on Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee’s successful REACH program, which Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has identified as a “best practice” and adopted as a national initiative. The purpose of the REACH initiative is to partner with businesses and other programs within our community to offer intentional, structured, group activities to our one-to-one matches. REACH activities focus on developmental goals in five focus areas:
- Education and Careers
- Arts and Culture
- Civic Engagement
- Health and Wellness
A Big and his or her Little typically plan their own activities based on their common interests. Providing structured activities makes volunteering easier for our Bigs and makes it easier to recruit potential Bigs who are interested in volunteering, but are deterred by planning activities each week. These structured activities improve the quality of the match and strengthen the bond between Big and Little. Providing these intentional activities will also broaden our matches’ knowledge of the community and offerings available to them throughout the 7 Rivers Region. Select REACH activities will be structured to provide Bigs with hands on training in areas such as Child Safety and High Risk Behaviors to increase their effectiveness as mentors. By implementing REACH we plan to increase volunteer enrollment, introduce new opportunities into our match relationships, enhance the mentoring experience for Bigs, increase collaboration with other programs, and increase match length resulting in more positive outcomes for children.
On March 13, BBBS had a REACH event at the Coulee Region Humane Society. Our matches were able to get a tour of the shelter, make toys for the animals and meet a therapy dog, Lucy. Thanks to the CRHS for organizing such a wonderful REACH event!
See photos from the event HERE.
On March 22nd, BBBS had a REACH event with the Winona State University Men’s Golf Team. Matches were able to work on their golf game and hang out with the Division II Collegiate Athletes. Thanks to the WSU Golf Team for fun event!