Name: Big Buddies
Advisor: Neal McKenna
Big Buddies is a child-centered service program that reaches out to the community by providing positive role models for elementary school children from the ages of 6-10 (Little Buddies Program), and middle school children from the ages of 11-14 (Middle Buddies Program). The program is structured as a group-on-group setting, with one-on-one pairings. This system expands the role model influence to many different types of college students from the University of Redlands. The program invites children from the Redlands area to participate.
A typical night begins at 6:15 p.m. with forty-five minutes devoted for tutoring and homework that the children have. The next hour is spent participating in an organized game or activity which involves all of the children and mentors, promoting positive interaction between present and hopefully, future college students. The final thirty minutes is "free time." During this half hour, the children receive a delicious snack and are given free time to further interact with their peers as well as the college mentors.
The Big Buddies (College Mentors) are selected through an application and interview process that takes place during the first month of the school year. In order to verify that the college mentors will be appropriate for the Big Buddies program, the names of each applicant are run through the Student Life Office for a university background/disciplinary check. All Big Buddies also complete a background check through the Department of Justice.
- To provide positive college role models
- To stress the importance of a well-rounded education
- To provide tutoring for the children in areas where they might have difficulties
- To stress the importance of appropriate behavior
- To improve and develop social skills
- To counsel, listen to, and play fun games with the children
Little Buddies is the section of the Big Buddies program that works with children 6-10 years of age. Little Buddies is focused on providing positive college role models for the children of the Redlands area.
Every Monday night, the program provides crafts and activities for the children. Each game and/or activity is intended to teach the children life skills such teamwork, cultural awareness, respect for others, and the importance of finishing your work and then having fun. The program offers homework help throughout the night.
One of the most beneficial aspects of the program is that each Little Buddy is paired up one-on-one with a college mentor, their very own Big Buddy. Little Buddies meets in University Hall at 6:00 p.m. and children are expected to be picked up at 8:30 p.m.
Talia Poidmore, junior
Thomas Leander, junior
Middle Buddies is the section of Big Buddies that works with children who are in middle school (grades 6-8). Middle Buddies is centered on providing positive college role models for the children of the Redlands area.
Every Monday night the program provides crafts, activities and homework help for the children. Each game and/or activity is intended to teach the children life skills such as teamwork, cultural awareness, respect for others and the importance of finishing your work and then having fun.
The most beneficial aspect of the program is that the children are able to interact with college students who help reinforce the importance of education. Middle Buddies meets in the Casa Loma Room at 6:15 p.m. Children are expected to be picked up at 8:30 p.m. in University Hall.
Jessica Medvec, senior
Mitsuru Rao, sophomore