Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio provides one-to-one mentoring and school-based mentoring programs in Tuscarawas and Carroll Counties.

About Our Mentoring Programs

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio’s (BBBSECO) core one-to-one mentoring programs are designed to create and develop a strong relationship between a child/teen and a mentor. Professional staff carefully match each youth participant (Little) with an adult, volunteer mentor (Big) for a mentoring relationship intended to be long-lasting, engaging, and effective in developing the Little’s potential. All relationships are professionally supported by BBBSECO staff to ensure relationships are sustained over time with productive results. Programs in the core one-to-one mentoring category include community-based mentoring and school-based mentoring.

Community-Based Mentoring

The core of BBBSECO programs is community-based mentoring. Littles in need of a mentor are matched with a volunteer Big who develops and maintains a relationship, serving as a positive role model and source of reliable support. Matches are based on common interests, backgrounds, and aspirations allowing for a strong connection to grow over time. Bigs and Littles explore the local community and share fun activities they both enjoy at least four hours a month. Some Bigs meet their Littles on the weekends, while others meet in the evenings. Each match is unique and develops a schedule that works for them.

Bigs and Littles create memories to last a lifetime. BBBSECO staff works with the Big and the Little’s family to encourage a continuous relationship and provide opportunities to participate in fun and engaging activities throughout the year. Staff also provide support for Bigs who may not know how to handle certain situations that may arise.

Big Sister and Little Sister at the zoo watching a penguin.

What Does a Community-Based Match Involve?

Getting together enriches the lives of both the Little and the Big. Outings do not require a special occasion or an expensive activity – just a few hours of quality time each month to share experiences in our community. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Taking a walk or throwing a ball in a park
  • Going to a museum
  • Listening to music
  • Attending a sports event
  • Going to the lake
  • Getting ice cream

These simple experiences are important opportunities for Littles to be heard, supported, and guided in a positive manner.

School-Based Mentoring

Similar to community-based mentoring, school-based mentoring creates one-on-one mentoring matches between Bigs and Littles. However, all mentoring activities take place at a designated site – at the Little’s school either during their school day or immediately after school – for one hour each week. High school students also have the opportunity to serve as Bigs in this program. The match process and support, as well as the overall impact, is the same as that of community-based mentoring: each Little has a positive role model who offers support and guidance throughout the year.

school based mentoring big and little sitting in a library playing a game.

What Does a School-Based Match Involve?

School-based mentoring is not a tutoring program; instead, mentors offer guidance. Mentoring activities can include reading, board games, sports, computer games, homework help, or a simple conversation. Research has shown children matched with a Big experience significant improvements in their academic lives. In fact, Littles who participate in the site-based mentoring program:

  • Have improved academic performance
  • Demonstrate higher levels of self-confidence
  • Have a better attitude toward school

Additional Match Types

Some additional match types are two-to-one mentoring like couples matches, best friends and also site based matches!

police officer smiling

Bigs in Badges

Bigs in Badges is a part of our Community-Based and School-Based Mentoring program. First responders and law enforcement that enroll as Bigs are a part of this program. In addition to the significant benefits of mentoring seen in our primary programs, Bigs in Badges has the added benefit of establishing and strengthening trust between our youth and law enforcement/first responders.

Additional Resources

Access valuable resources to support mentoring journeys.

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”
-John C. Crosby
Patterned tile line in black and green.
Patterned tile line in black and green.
Patterned tile line in black and green.