Includes City Mentors and Bigs in Blue
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2017) — Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass (BBBS) has added two new volunteer programs — City Mentors and Bigs in Blue — in partnership with the City of Lexington, the Lexington Police Department and Fayette County Public Schools.
City Mentors allows city employees to volunteer for up to two hours a week as a mentor with one of four agencies, including BBBS. The program is based on similar programs throughout the country, including the Mayor’s Mentors program in Louisville.
Bigs in Blue is a national Big Brothers Big Sisters program partnering police officers with the community in mentoring relationships. The Lexington Police Department is beginning its own Bigs in Blue program in Lexington.
Each program supports children in BBBS’ school-based programs within Fayette County Public Schools. Most recently, BBBS began a school program at William Wells Brown Elementary School, where more than 35 children have received in-school mentoring in the past two school years. With increased volunteers and financial assistance, BBBS will be able to expand this program into similar schools throughout the district.
With many children across the state facing different forms of adversity, prevention programs are often a solution that reduces juvenile crime and delinquency, reduces substance abuse, increases school performance and attendance, and decreases the likelihood of children committing violent acts.
BBBS enrolls children, ages 6-13, across Central Kentucky and matches them with adult volunteers, ages 18 and older. The volunteer time commitment is typically one hour a week for a minimum of a year. BBBS serves about 500 children each year. More than 200 children are currently on its waiting list, 70 percent of which are boys. The average time a child waits for a big is over a year and boys wait significantly longer than girls.