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Enroll a Child

As a parent, you recognize the potential of your child better than anyone.

 

By giving your child the opportunity to be part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, you are starting them down a path to an even brighter, more promising future. Our one-to-one mentorship programs help Littles see better grades, better social skills, and more confidence.

 

We are currently accepting new applications for Littles age 5-15 who live in the La Crosse and Winona areas.

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Enrollment Steps...

  • A parent or legal guardian of the child or children fills out the online application.

    • BBBS staff will reach out and provide more information on the program options and the process and answer any questions you have.

  • Schedule your interview with BBBS program staff.

  • Once the interview is complete, BBBS staff will make Match Recommendation based on the information you and your child or children provide during the interview and in the application.

    • This information includes any preferences shared with BBBS staff throughout the enrollment process.

  • BBBS will send you an email notifying you that your application is complete and that BBBS is looking for a compatible Big to match your child or children with.

  • Parents and Guardians will complete the online Pre-Match training.

  • When BBBS finds a volunteer Big they think would be successfully matched with your child, BBBS staff will schedule a call with you to present the match and answer any questions you have about the volunteer Big.

    • You and your child will be asked to approve or not approve the match. If you do not approve, BBBS staff will take notes to refine our match recommendation and aid our search for the best match possible.

  • If the match is approved, BBBS staff will work with both parties to schedule an introduction meeting for the Little and their parent or guardian to meet their volunteer Big. During this meeting:

    • The match agreement will be read and signed.

    • Icebreakers will be provided to get the match off to a strong start by getting to know each other.

    • An outcomes and development plan will be started for the Little.

Community-Based Mentoring

Matches meet 2-4 times per month on evenings and/or weekends at the convenience of both parties.

 

Volunteers coordinate match times and activities directly with the parent. Outings vary based on time availability and match activities.

 

Matches get to know each other and develop their friendships through various activities they enjoy such as taking a walk, attending sporting events, visiting the library, or partaking in a favorite hobby, etc.

 

Matches are encouraged to do low-no cost activities around the community.

Site-Based Mentoring

Site-Based matches meet at a specified site such as a school, The Boys & Girls Club, or another organized after-school program. The matches can participate in a planned activity or do something on their own together such as Ping Pong, games, crafts, or cooking.

 

This program provides a structured environment that offers plenty of activities and resources for a match to have fun together.

  • Some schools bus children to the Boys and Girls Club, or the parent can transport the child there.

  • To enroll a child in Site Based the child must be between the ages of 5-17 but can remain matched until age 18.

  • Parent or Guardian involvement is less than the Community-Based program, but they do provide information that helps with matching their child appropriately and match updates to BBBS staff a few times annually.

Parent/Guardian Partnership

Your child’s safety is extremely important to us. Big Brothers Big Sisters staff conduct thorough interview, reference, and background checks on every volunteer in our program, and every relationship is closely monitored and supported by a professionally trained Match Specialist.

 

We support our BIGS and Littles with all sorts of resources and regularly check in with our matches every month.

 

It is important to us that you are involved and comfortable with your child’s match.

 

We have designed everything we do to create healthy opportunities for your child’s learning and growth.

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Families as Partners

Parents and guardians are not just part of the process, they’re part of the success.

When it comes to the future of our children and the well-being of our communities, we’re all in this together.  So it should come as no surprise that we need the parents and guardians of Littles to be involved every step of the way, starting with the initial match.

Not only will you provide information about your child’s strengths and needs, but you’ll also approve the selection of the Big Brother or Big Sister.  Once the match is made, you remain closely involved in many ways, including:

  • Approving activities and outings for your child and their BIG

  • Asking your child questions about those outings, and sharing what you learn with the agency staff

  • Reporting your child’s progress and milestones to the agency on a regular basis (Big Brothers Big Sisters will contact you, but we welcome your feedback any time)

  • Participating in training on child safety offered by Big Brothers Big Sisters staff, and communicating with your child about the training he or she receives.