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BBBSG News for April 2015

Top News of the Month

New Program Offerings Off to a Great Start

While there are many things that make BBBSG such a special charity, one thing that sets us apart from other agencies is when we take the initiative to develop new mentoring programs, providing new ways for children to learn, because let's face it, every child develops differently, and has a different set of hobbies and interests. We want to appeal to as many of those interests as possible.ENV - good group photo

You've read plenty about our new Environ-Mentoring program over the past several months, an initiative we've pursued in partnership with the Grand River Conservation Authority, where Bigs & Littles do exciting and creative outdoor activities. We're wrapping up another season right now, after a fun snowshoeing day, soon to be followed by a canoe trip at the Rockwood Conservation Area.

Bank Buddies is the other unique program that we've recently launched with some of our matches. Numeracy can be fun and exciting and our Bigs & Littles have been spending time playing math-related games (Monopoly, Game of Life, Pay Day etc.) as part of their regular outings, and we're seeing great results. While this program is still in its infancy, we're eagerly looking for new mentors with an interest and appreciation for numbers. Our plan is to bring this program to local elementary schools in the fall, so if you're interested in becoming a Bank Buddies volunteer, please contact us today!

We've enjoyed a great start to the 2015 year with our new program initiatives, as we strive to provide mentoring to more than 600 local children. With the incredible commitments from volunteers and the opportunity to share new learning programs, we can't wait to see what will happen throughout the rest of the year.


Fundraising Events Raise more than $125,000

When the calendar flipped to 2015, so began the BBBSG fundraising season, a busy six-month period where the agency conducts its largest and most successful fundraising events. Like past years, 2015 was incredibly successful with a number of generous organizations and individuals committing their support to our mentoring programs.Bigs & Littles

The 20th Annual Have a Heart gala, presented by Skyline, returned to the Delta Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre on Feb. 6th, with more than 250 guests enjoying a seven-course meal, live entertainment, a live and silent auction and, new for this year, a photobooth! Our new friends at SnapPOD joined us for the event, bringing fun costumes and props that created a long lineup throughout the evening as guests eagerly waited for their photo opportunity inside the "pod". Party City generously sponsored the booth this year, providing take-home mementos for guests, filled with smiles and silliness. A special thanks goes out to all sponsors, donors, attendees and volunteers for making this evening so special.

Football - Offence and Defence (2)From March 19-22, Woodlawn Bowl was the gracious host of our annual Bowl for Kids' Sake marathon, which welcomed a new presenting sponsor for 2015, our friends at Smith Valeriote Law Firm LLP. More than 85 fundraising teams combined to raise more than $60,000 over the four days, and the Bigs & Littles joined in on the fun on Saturday afternoon alongside the Guelph Police and the Guelph Gryphons football team. As always, all of the Gryphons varsity athletes were huge contributors to the event, bringing in 28 teams and more than $10,000. They continue to be among our most dedicated supporters and we truly appreciate their help. A special thanks goes out to everyone who participated, pledged and volunteered at this great event. We couldn't have done it without you!


Recognizing Some Amazing In-School Mentors

As it's been a while since we shared stories about our elite In-School Mentoring volunteers, we have five Mentors of the Month to recognize here for all their hard work. These mentors are carefully chosen by Laura, our Manager of School-based Programs, for their hard work and dedication to their mentees. We truly appreciate their commitments, not only to BBBSG, but also to their great students.

December: Stephanie Liscumb1Stephanie has been matched to her mentee for about two and a half years and they continue to visit weekly even though Steph no longer lives in the city. Most weeks they enjoy playing sports or cooking together. Steph has developed an incredible relationship with her mentee that has become very close and meaningful. The student tends to keep his emotions private, but one of Steph's favorite memories is how he ran down the hall and gave her a big hug the first day of their second school year together. Steph also loves how excited her mentee gets when he cracks the eggs when they are cooking (especially when he does it well!). It's these small moments that Stephanie really cherishes. Thanks Stephanie for being such an awesome mentor. Your mentee is lucky to have you in his life! Your dedication and commitment have been amazing!

January: Sheila has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph since September 2014 and when she started this school year she asked if she could be matched to 2 students. After getting to know her more, I was really excited that she wanted to work with 2 students – she is incredible! Sheila has really nice matches with both of her mentees and it's great that she has unique relationships with both students. She enjoys doing creative (and generous!) things with one mentee, while being active and flexible in what she does with the other. Both of Sheila's mentees LOVE spending time with her and they really look forward to her coming each week.

February: Ela StanivukEla has been matched to her mentee since the beginning of the school year and they have developed a great relationship. Ela and her mentee just ‘clicked’ right away and they have been very close ever since. Whenever I speak to the school, the CYC continually sings Ela’s praises and talks about the positive changes she has seen in the student. Ela’s mentee has really blossomed under the consistent positive attention – she is more confident and social! Ela and her mentee both love spending time together. Ela loves how her mentee helps her be more carefree and spontaneous, while Ela helps her mentee be more level-headed and structured. It’s really nice that they can both benefit from the relationship so much. Thank you, Ela, for being such an incredible mentor. Your mentee loves seeing you and you’ve done such an amazing job with her!

March: Charlotte has been an in-school mentor since October, 2014. She loves spending time with kids and wanted to give back to the community in a fun way! Charlotte loves being matched with her mentee because she is an awesome little person to be around and it's a lot of fun being her mentor. They split their time between short and fun games and more long-term projects. They love to do crafts together and are currently making a paper-mache rabbit. Thank you Charlotte for being such an amazing mentor. Your mentee is lucky to have you in her life! Your dedication and commitment is leaving a lasting impression on your mentee!

April: julieJulie has been an in-school mentor since the start of the 2014 school year. She is a fun, creative gal who loves spending time with her mentee (and I honestly don't think she has missed a week this whole school year!). Julie and her mentee love doing crafts together. They have made so many neat things that they get to take home to remember each other by. They also enjoy playing board games and challenging each other with math-based games. Julie and her mentee take pictures of everything they do in the hopes of making a scrapbook at the end of their time together.


BBBSG Co-op Program Enjoys Successful 2015 Launch

imageBacked by a two-year commitment from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, BBBSG's Co-operative In-School Mentoring program is back and being led by a new face. in January, we welcomed Melody Lippert to the BBBSG team as the Mentoring Co-ordinator for this exciting program, which matches high school co-op students with elementary school mentees.

The program, which was briefly piloted by other BBBSG staff in Fall 2014 is now in full swing under Melody and the feedback we're already receiving is amazing. Melody has done a great job with her seven co-op students, helping them to develop fun and creative activities to do in their one-to-one matches with the elementary school kids. Pictured here in their brand new Co-op ISM t-shirts are Sammie, Kylee, Stefan and Melody. We're so excited to see this program develop and watch these mentoring relationships grow in the upcoming semesters.


Saying Goodbye to our Amazing Placement Students

On several occasions each year, we're lucky to receive some great help from our various placement students, who comes to us from Conestoga College and the University of Guelph, eager to develop their skills and share time with us. This year, we've been fortunate to have Faythe from the U of G and Julie from Conestoga, join us for their placements, which they recently completed. Both students were tremendous assets to the Big Brothers Big Sisters team, helping with a number of tasks including intake, reference checks, match updates and even volunteering at fundraising events. We would like to thank them both for their amazing efforts and hard work. We know they'll both be incredibly successful!


BBBSG Littles Pursuing CIBC Youthvision Scholarships


This year we had 5 Little Brothers and Little Sisters apply for the CIBC Youthvision Scholarship. Each year 30 scholarships are awarded to Littles from across Canada, valued at up to $38,000 over 4 years. Not only does the scholarship assist with post-secondary tuition, but it also includes a paid internship component through the YMCA where recipients work at the Y during the summer. Littles from BBBSG who applied this year are: Jimmy, Lena, Chase, Cassie, and Rabita. Best of luck to all of you! 



Thank You, Skyline!

Skyline Storm Game 2 - 400

On Sunday, March 22, a large group of Bigs and Littles made their way down to the Sleeman Centre to enjoy the final regular season Guelph Storm hockey game from the comfort of the party suite. Our friends at Skyline were the incredibly generous sponsors of this event, continuing to be this charity's most giving corporate partner.

Skyline provided posters, noise makers, pizza and drinks, as well as Cleo the Clown who painted faces and gave glitter tattoos! To top it off, the Storm won the game 6-2 as they made final preparations for their playoff journey. Thank you, Skyline! 




Congratulations to Jamie & Justin


Congratulations to Big Brother Jamie and Little Brother Justin, who celebrated their 10-year match anniversary on April 7th. Although Justin is now 19, their match is continuing because Justin is one of our CIBC Youthvision Scholarship recipients. Justin has been accepted to Fanshawe College in London and looks forward to starting his first year in September. He plans to study general arts and science for the first year before specializing in one of the health programs in year 2. Best of luck, Justin! 



New Matches & Match Anniversaries

New Matches for December 2014 - March 2015

At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph, we love facilitating new matches and providing a local child with the opportunity to gain life-changing mentoring from our incredible "Big" volunteers. Through our One-to-One Program and our In-School Mentoring Program, we've successfully matched many new kids in the past month and we can't wait to see the results!

New One-to-One Matches

Kyle & Patrick

Jane & Skylar

Nicholas & Mason

Mychal-Ann & Natasha

Philip & Keon

Natalie & Starla

Ryne & George

Justin & Tieler

Paige & Silvia

New In-School Mentoring Matches

Marina & Olivia

Stephanie & Sara

Samantha & Saffra

Alok & Kayden

Monique & Jacobee

Jasmine & Allen

Kayla & Jenna

Danielle & Elizabeth

Samantha & Chloe

Filip & Curtis

David & Jesse

Vigne & Kaylee

New Big Bunch Leaders

Robert, Jasper, Jonathan

Match Anniversaries for December 2014 - March 2015

There is something so rewarding about watching a "Big" and "Little" grow together over the years. At BBBSG, we're all about facilitating life-long friendships through our various mentoring programs. We love to celebrate our match anniversaries and reflect on how far some of these kids have come over the past years. Thank you so much for your commitment to this agency and the children we serve.

One-to-One/Couples for Kids Match Anniversaries

Marc & Leo - 8 years

Dave & Thomas - 8 years

Lynsey/Steve & Jasmine - 8 years

Laura/Keith & Haylee - 7 years

Stella & Cassandra - 5 years

Adam & Ian - 4 years

Andy & Dylan - 4 years

Catherine & Emily - 3 years

Justin & Henry - 2 years

Fiona & Amanda - 2 years

Heather & Samantha - 2 years

Jessica & Amisha - 2 years

Ashlyn & Aireytta - 2 years

Janice & Madison - 2 years

Paul & Trystan - 1 year

Kyle & Nickolas - 1 year

Jagdeep & Machut - 1 year

Haley & Samantha - 1 year

Thomas & Cody - 1 year

ISM Match Anniversaries

Andrea & Emily - 3 years

Sarah & Kalev - 2 years

Amy & Faith - 2 years

John & Mack - 6 years

Pamela & Parker - 2 years

Melissa & Abigail - 2 years

Amanda & Riley - 2 years

Alice & Grace - 1 year

Heather & Jacobi - 2 years

Deb & Michelle - 2 years

Liz & Lily - 1 year

Liz & Ana - 1 year

Big Bunch Leader Anniversaries

Ian - 6 years

Katie - 4 years

Joanna- 4 years

Tiffany - 4 years

Lena - 4 years

Sue - 4 years

Evan - 1 year

Did you miss out on something that happened at BBBSG? View older versions of our e-Newsletter here!