Toronto - One more month left of school and as children say goodbye to their teachers, close to 200 will say farewell to their school mentors. Another school year comes to an end with these children looking forward to the fall where new memories will be made with their Big Brother or Big Sister.

In May, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto (BBBST) celebrates In-School Mentoring Month and the magic that mentors bring each school year to so many children. Research shows, children involved in BBBST In-School Mentoring programs are less likely to skip a day of school, develop higher levels of self-confidence, develop more positive attitudes towards school, achieve higher grades and are more likely to trust their teachers.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto has a variety of School-based programs where children in grades 1-8 (Littles) meet with their mentors (Bigs) regularly on school grounds:

·In-School Mentoring
·Co-op
·Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

The most recognized program In-School Mentoring, requires a Big to meet with a Little one hour a week during school hours from September – June. Fun activities like reading, crafts, sports, games and using the computer help develop the Big and Little friendship while fostering a child’s confidence, interest in learning and the importance of education.

Go Girls! Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds is led by mentor volunteers (women ages 18-25), runs in schools for seven, two-hour sessions. Each session provides an opportunity for the girls (ages 12-14) to participate in fun, educational games and activities. Maintaining sensitivity towards emotional, social and cultural issues, Go Girls! addresses topics such as physical activity participation, healthy eating choices, self-image, and relationships.

High School students can also make a difference in their community while obtaining Co-op credits. The Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto’s Co-op Program is open to Senior Secondary Students. Volunteers must be 16 years and over, enrolled in a full year cooperative education program and are matched with elementary school children. The time commitment for a co-op student is one hour per week, per student from September to June.

Right now Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto is in need of volunteers for their School-based programs. As a Big Brother or Big Sister, you talk, listen, support, guide, encourage – believe in your Little Brother or Little Sister and help them believe in themselves.

There are many children in Toronto who could benefit from having an in-school mentor. There’s never been a better reason to go back to school! Learn how sharing a little time with a child can make a BIG difference! Call us at (416) 925-8981or visit http://www.bbbst.com/.