Big Brothers, Sisters Program offers youth 'Little Moments, Big Magic'
The Winslow Big Brothers, Big Sisters Organization is celebrating its ninth year by expanding its after school program to all three elementary schools.
The after school program has been ongoing for six years at Thomas Jefferson Elementary school, and is now being offered at both Washington and Bonnie Brennan.
The program allows students the opportunity to be matched with a high school student. During the program time, they play games, have crafts and eat snacks.
According to program staff member Krista Baker, Winslow's is the largest rural after school program in the state.
Baker noted that at least once a quarter, the entire program group comes together. The last time was to decorate ornaments for the tree the group donated to the Festival of Trees.
Baker said that Winslow was among 10 sites chosen for a research project nationally, and the group just recently completed the project.
Last week the group was recognized by Governor Janet Napolitano for their mentoring/volunteer hours, over 79,000 hours in 2005.
There are presently over 300 kids in the Winslow area being served by the organization. But, Baker noted, there are 37 on waiting lists to be matched with a volunteer.
For the group's ninth year, they would like to increase by 90 new volunteers.
Along with the after school programs, there is one community based match program, one school based, one adult, one sport, and a soon to be faith based.
The Smart Program is funded through a three year grant from the Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools Mentoring Initiative.
The group worked with and through the school district to receive the grant.
The group will be participating in the 10th Annual Bowl for Kids Sake in March.
Baker noted that the group is looking for sponsors and teams. She added that sponsors can be for teams, individual matches or food.
There will be a Winslow Team Captain Party at 5:30 p.m. at Captain Tony's.
Bowling events are planned for March 11 at P&M Lanes in Holbrook, and March 18 at Sho Lo Bowl in Show Low.
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