In the Big Sky community-based program, local adult mentors (“Bigs”) are matched with children (“Littles”) ages 5-15. Unlike the school-based program, the community-based program exists within the community and not within the school. Community-based matches spend time together outside school either on weekday evenings or during the weekend. They spend their time engaging in any parent-approved activity they wish, such as hiking, biking, arts and crafts, and making dinner. This program gives Littles the chance to build a relationship with a consistent, positive adult role model outside of school. Bigs form a partnership with parents/guardians with one common goal - to give each child the best chance for success. In the community-based program, Bigs must be 18 years of age or older, commit to the program for a minimum of 18 months, have a vehicle with current insurance, and possess a clean driving record. The safety and happiness of every child in our program is our first priority. To become a Big or enroll a child, contact Amy Hunter.
The Big Sky school-based program, Big Sky Buddies, began in the spring of 2012. Our programs offer Littles the opportunity to grow by spending time with an older student to whom they look up. This positively affects not only the Little but the Big as well! Mentoring gives high school and middle school students a positive extracurricular activity to participate in while helping them build life skills and serve as role models. Bigs learn how their actions and behaviors can directly affect others. Serving as a Big boosts self-confidence by making a difference in a child’s life and giving back in their own community.
Our flagship program has changed names from Big Sky Buddies to Bigs & Littles. The Bigs & Littles program matches High school students 'Bigs' one-to-one with elementary school students 'Littles', and the pair meets once a week in a supervised school-based setting. Some matches also include a middle school student as a 'Little Big' or mentor-in-training.
One of our new programs is called Stem Sisters. This program matches a kindergarten or 1st-grade girl with a middle school girl to work on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) projects each week. Additionally, female STEM professionals come each month to talk to the girls about their careers in STEM.
Another recently introduced program is called Beyond School. This program connects high school students to adult community mentors to develop skills needed after high school like resume writing, interviewing, professional communication, and budgeting. The matches meet bi-weekly and communicate via email. This year, we are striving to build a wide network of professionals in Big Sky to serve as mentors for high school students.