The Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Greater Montreal

by S.Abate on March 2, 2014 - 3:06pm

The Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Montreal have more than just one mission. They aim to prevent elementary and high school students from dropping out of school, to improve a young one’s self-esteem, social skills and lifestyle habits, and to offer children from single-parent families a role model whom they talk to about certain issues they have. They tackle these missions with numerous programs: Traditional pairings, group pairing, the Prometheus Project, the Horizons Project, and the Par-Aine Project. Traditional pairing is when an adult is paired up with a child from a single-parent family. The adult must meet with the child three to four times per week. The adult is not there to play the role of a parent role at all, they are there simply to form a friendship with the child and to build confidence between one another in hopes that it will help prevent delinquency in the child’s life.  Group pairings consist of two to three volunteers and five to six children who are waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister. Once a month, the group will pick an activity to do together where they get to know each other. It should be noted that in all of these programs, the adult and child are carefully picked based on a questionnaire and an adult or child is chosen for you based on the kind of person you are, your experience, etc. Next, the Prometheus Project is a program where an adult volunteer is paired up with a child who is in elementary or high school. These kids have a very low self-esteem, they are emotionally fragile and don’t get much support from their parents, so these volunteers visit the kids at their schools either after school or during their lunch hour for 60 to 90 minutes per week during the school year. The program doesn’t focus on helping the kids with their homework, but rather on their skills necessary for the child to blossom and gain confidence in themselves for academic success. The Horizons Project creates partnerships between high schools and elementary schools through a participation in a one-on-one tutoring program. The goal is to help kids with learning disabilities and to offer personalized help that will potentially boost the child’s confidence and as well their skills. The tutoring sessions are held each week for about 60 to 90 minutes. Lastly, the Par-Aine Project was created for men and women aged 65 and over who are isolated in their daily lives. The relationship the senior develops with their mentor allows them to break this isolation and get a new outlook on life. The pairing usually lasts for about one whole year, minimum. In order to become part of this great organization, you need to fill out an online questionnaire on their website, where they can evaluate it and carefully pick a child that would best “suit” you. Once they do, they give you a call with further instructions. For more info, visit their website: http://www.gfgsmtl.qc.ca/en/accueil.php

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