Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Muscatine Community School District are proud to offer a High School Bigs Program. Big Brothers Big Sisters has High School Big programs in the Tipton and Louisa-Muscatine school districts, and the opportunity to have a strong program in Muscatine presented itself through collaboration with Aligned Impact Muscatine (AIM). Our community is focused on having our students college- and career-ready. Peer mentoring between high school and middle school students is one of the interventions that can help increase the number of students achieving post-secondary goals and contributing back to our community.
High school students were preselected by counselors and the MHS activity director, Andy Werling, based on their academics, extra-curricular activities, peer relationships, and overall student performance to enroll in a high school course titled Peer Mentoring. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Muscatine County operates under national standards ensuring safe and high-quality mentoring. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ formalizing and overseeing the course seemed to be the perfect fit. Big Brothers Big Sisters is enrolling and training the high school students to serve as mentors to 7th and 8th grade students. Each mentor will be matched in a one-on-one relationship and meet weekly.
Their time together will be spent establishing friendships. Mentors will provide individual support and model good attendance, behaviors, academics, and peer relationships while discussing their own experiences navigating high school, the pressure of being a student and a peer, and their own path to college readiness. Matches will receive on-going training, support, coaching, and activities from Big Brothers Big Sisters to assure they have strong and beneficial experiences.
Attendance, academic progress (grades), and social skills are critical components for student success. Mentoring has been a proven tool for improving all of these areas. Over the next couple of weeks, the first matches will be introduced and begin forming strong and enduring relationships that will change both of their lives for the better, forever. Our vision is for all children to achieve success in life.