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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod and The Islands
CONTACT:1934 Falmouth Road
Centerville, MA 02632
E. Stuart Peoples,
DESCRIPTION:Big Brothers/Big Sisters is a national organization famous for its core program, which tries to prevent problems by providing "Big Brother" and "Big Sister" mentors for at-risk, often low-income and single-parented, children. A national survey found that "Little Brothers and Sisters" are less likely to: use drugs (46%), skip school (52%), and use alcohol (27%); and more likely to have confidence in their schoolwork, and to get along well with family and peers.
The key to this success is its extreme care in matching "Bigs" with "Littles" -- not just for safety, but for personal compatibility. That process also takes time, however, and the demand for "Bigs" always exceeds the supply. Thus there is a pathetically long waiting list; on Cape Cod, 216 boys and 117 girls await Big Brothers and Sisters. Sometimes the wait can be 2-3 years.
BB/S also offers programs open to all comers, whether matched or not: 1) an Activities Program of social, recreationsl and educational experiences; 2) a "Life's Choices" Program for early adolescents (ages 11-14) focusing on values, choices, decision-making and confidence-building in body image, sexuality, drugs and alcohol, career awareness, friendships and cultural awareness; and 3) a Summer Camp program especially for single-parented children.
To grow this already stretched Program will require all the basics -- additional staff, volunteers, office space, and growth-investments to enable the above. Dollars will be very well-spent.
(1997: HUMAN SERVICES: Children and Youth: General)
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