Big Brothers Big Sisters of Siouxland was created in 1978 by community leaders who wanted to make the proven Big Brothers Big Sisters model available to local children who were at risk. We were incorporated as a private, 501 c (3) non profit on December 7, 1978 and began programming immediately after. Our mission is to empower youth through mentoring.
The agency has served children and their families for more than 40 years. We have successfully implemented expanded programs (Big Family, rural mentoring and Jr Big Program (high school volunteers)) in order to respond to the emerging community needs, and have the capacity at our current level to serve more than 400 children in our service area.
Our current programs serve children in a Community and Site Based setting.
- Community Based – Volunteer mentors (Bigs) provide mentees (Littles) with dedicated time and attention, typically 2 – 4 times a month, in the Community-Based program. During unstructured weekly or biweekly outings, filled with conversations and shared activities.
- Site Based – Allows Bigs and Littles individualized time and attention on a consistent basis, with the venue being the child’s school rather than the community. Matches in the Site-Based program enjoy activities such as eating lunch together, playing board games, making crafts, working on homework and practicing reading and writing skills.
• Le Mars Lunch Buddies – Mentor visits their Little once a week at school for lunch over the school year.
• Beyond the Bell Buddies (BTB) – Matches students in grades 1-4 referred by staff members at the Beyond the Bell Program at four Sioux City Elementary Schools with community member mentors. A Big visits his/her Little during BTB hours once a week for a minimum of 30 minutes throughout the year, summers included, with a focus on youth development.
• Bigs with Badges (BWB) – Mentor (law enforcement or juvenile court officers) visit their Little at school during the lunch period once a week over the school year.
Our Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s beginning.
It all started in 1904, when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement.
At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.
Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers Association and Big Sisters International joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
More than 100 years later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children. Today, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states—and in 12 countries around the world.