In addition to the traditional one to one mentoring, Big Brothers/Big Sisters offers numerous specialized mentoring programs responding to the diverse needs and resources of the community.
Marsha Tom, Director
I Believe, I Achieve
Using a holistic approach to helping the child by helping the entire family unit, IBIA boasts the following various components:
Manhattanville College and Mercy College Bigs are transported to the school for weekly 90 minute sessions. Upon arriving Bigs and Littles share a snack, and begin working on a structured curriculum focused on life skills, homework help, learning chess, team building and some allotted free time for independently chosen work. Littles receive two days of afterschool instruction, one day of creative writing and one day of creative arts. Children will complete a culminating activity by publishing their own book. A partnership with Yonkers Public Library will enable Littles to have copies of their books put into circulation at the library.
As parent involvement is crucial, parents are expected to attend family workshops and school activities as well as participate in the school community in a variety of ways.
IBIA has an incentive program with specific report requirements for each marking period. Criteria requirements increase as time progresses. These criteria require that both Littles and their parents achieve and sustain specific levels in attendance, academic achievement, etc. in order to receive their incentive gift card of $50 per marking period for each child and a parent. If either does not maintain their criteria, neither one will receive their gift card.
Each Little receives a membership to the local YMCA along with guest passes for family members and Bigs.
Littles and their families are expected to participate in field trips and activities planned with a fun but educational perspective.
Littles are enrolled in the summer program which includes field trips, opportunities for athletics as well as other educational activities.
Latino High School Bigs mentor Littles from a participating elementary school. The program operates annually from October –April. Bigs and Littles participate in guided one on one discussions about life skills, help with homework and work on art projects together as partners and in a group. Littles also participate in workshops on developing healthy lifestyles covering topics such as healthy eating, safety and drug awareness.
New York Life Workplace Mentoring Program
Littles are transported to NYL Corporate headquarters. Upon arriving Littles enjoy a snack before Bigs arrive to work with them one on one. Bigs and Littles participate in a structured curriculum designed to heighten Littles’ awareness of workplace etiquette, job skills and readiness. Practical professional skills for the workplace are nurtured and enhanced. Weekly topics include, resume writing, office attire, writing and sending emails, interview skills, writing and communication skills, presentation skills and public speaking.
New York Life Lunch Buddies
NYL Bigs are transported to the school at lunchtime. Bigs and Littles enjoy lunch together while playing games, talk one on one and work on art projects. Littles also participate in workshops on developing healthy lifestyles covering topics such as healthy eating, safety and drug awareness.