Big Brothers Big Sisters conducts group mentoring study

By Lindsay Advocate

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kawartha Lakes – Haliburton is exploring options for focused group mentoring programs. According to a press release, the idea comes from a group mentoring study conducted by the organization over the past year.

The study was made possible thanks to a $6,100 Student Employment Experience Development (SEED) grant awarded last June by Ontario Trillium Foundation. The grant has enabled the group to look into whether a site-based group mentoring program would be feasible and how it would help young people in the community.

“The organization has been wanting to research the possibility of group mentoring in our community for a number of years, but just didn’t have the staffing resources to complete the initiative; this SEED funding allowed us the opportunity to do the research,” said Jim DeFlorio, Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton.

“Funding through the Ontario Trillium Foundation is very important to the many causes and organizations in Ontario wanting to expand their services,” says DeFlorio.

The organization wrote that children and youth in the community can benefit from a group mentoring program that has an environmental, engineering or other specific focus.  Big Brothers Big Sisters is determining whether this type of programming can work within a small organization’s budget and resources while remaining sustainable.

Local MPP Laurie Scott met with representatives of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton on Thursday to learn more about the study. “The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kawartha Lakes–Haliburton does fantastic work in our community to support child and youth development,” said Scott. “I am looking forward to seeing the results of this enviro-mentoring pilot project.”

The SEED grant put Big Brothers Big Sisters in a position to dedicate a specific number of hours per week for this research.  This included meeting with other local groups and institutions to see if there were potential partnerships or ideas that could make the implementation of group mentoring a possibility.  There were positive discussions with other groups, which have resulted in possible collaborative opportunities moving forward.

Further information on mentoring can be obtained by contacting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton at 705-324-6800.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities.

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