Our Mission: Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Vision Statement: Our vision is that all children will achieve success in life.
The Results: Through partnerships with adult volunteer mentors and others in the community, we are responsible for each child in our program, achieving:
History: Locally, our program began in 1972 and was originally called Big Brothers of Akron. In 1975 the program expanded to include women and girls and was renamed Big Brothers and Sisters of Greater Akron. In 1995, our agency expanded into Medina County and we changed our name to Big Brothers and Sisters of Summit and Medina Counties.
Nationally, the organization began more than 100 years ago! Big Brothers of America was founded in 1904 when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.
The two organizations merged in June of 1977, to become Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Today, the agency operates in all 50 states and 12 countries around the world!
Community Matches: Big Brothers and Big Sisters are volunteers at least 18 years of age who are willing to be a positive influence in the life of a child. These volunteers spend the amount of time required to form and maintain a relationship with children ages 6- 18. The volunteers act as role models and friends to the children with the goal of increasing their self-confidence as well as being a support system for them.
Site Based After-School Program: During the school year, caseworkers coordinate and supervise the Site Based Program, a school-based initiative that pairs high-school volunteers (the “Bigs”) with elementary school children (the “Littles”) during after-school hours. Homework assistance, games, snacks and important social time is supervised at schools throughout Summit and Medina counties.
During the 2010-2011 school year, Sidekicks was offered at eight public schools; four in the Akron, Springfield and Barberton school districts in Summit County, and four schools in Medina County.
For more information on this program and to find out whether it might work at your school, please call our office at 330.376.6503.