Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks school coordinators

Gordon Liu and Caitlin Schick, Youthlinks staff, serve as Big Brothers Big Sisters of midcoast Maine school coordinators at the South School in Rockland. The agency is seeking additional volunteers to serve as school coordinators at other schools.
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Gordon Liu and Caitlin Schick, Youthlinks staff, serve as Big Brothers Big Sisters of midcoast Maine school coordinators at the South School in Rockland. The agency is seeking additional volunteers to serve as school coordinators at other schools.
Posted Oct. 14, 2011, at 10:17 p.m.

ROCKLAND — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine is seeking community-minded volunteers to serve as school coordinators at its school-based mentoring sites this fall.

Coordinators are adults from the community who can dedicate 1½ hours for one day each week, October through May (except school vacation weeks) to be at the match meetings of high school and college-age Bigs and their elementary and middle-school age Littles. The meetings take place after school, generally from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Every school mentoring location has one or two coordinators who attend each week to oversee and supervise the weekly match meetings to ensure match quality and child safety. School coordinators are interviewed in person and screened and trained by a professional Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine staff member. Training opportunities, including a summer school coordinator orientation for all new and returning volunteers, also are provided by agency staff.

Successful school coordinators are responsible, dedicated, love working with and coaching youth of all ages and backgrounds, have great listening skills, are willing to learn, love to play, have patience, flexibility and a sense of humor. Coordinators arrive early to greet the Bigs and Littles. They help set up and clean up meeting supplies and snacks, facilitate group match activities if appropriate, and coach Bigs as they navigate their relationships with their Littles. Coordinators have regular weekly contact with agency staff to discuss match meeting and site logistics, attendance, successes, issues and concerns.

The agency needs school coordinators at the following sites for the 2011-12 school year:

• Knox County: Appleton Village School on Wednesdays, Camden-Rockport Elementary School on Thursdays, Hope Elementary School on Mondays and South School in Rockland on Tuesdays.

• Lincoln County: Great Salt Bay in Damariscotta on Tuesdays and Nobleboro Central School on Mondays.

• Waldo County: Lincolnville Central School on Thursdays, Mount View Elementary in Thorndike on Thursdays, Searsport Middle-High School on Thursdays and Unity College on Tuesdays.

Coordinators spend time with each Big and Little, observing interactions, and coaching Bigs as they learn more about their Littles and the adversities they may be facing in their lives. Coordinators help Bigs and Littles discover more about themselves through the match experience. Bigs in the program see the huge impact they make in their Little’s life by being there each week, and the Littles benefit from having an older, positive role model and a friend they can count on.

For more information or to set up an interview, call Misty Start, school-based mentoring manager, at 593-0380 or email misty@bbbsmcm.org.

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