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D.202 partners with Big Brothers Big Sisters for afterschool program






Plainfield – District 202 is kicking off the new year with a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties.

Three schools – Crystal Lawns and Grand Prairie elementary schools, and Timber Ridge Middle School – initially will host the site-based plus program called Skills Opportunities Academics Relationships or S.O.A.R.

Big Brothers Big Sisters will host programs two times a month at each school for adult mentors or “bigs” and their student mentees or “littles.”

S.O.A.R is scheduled to kick off this semester. The goal is to have SOAR at all District 202 schools.

Tim Albores, Director of Student Services for High School/Alternative Programs, is spearheading the effort for District 202.

“We really wanted to bring another level of community-based support for our students and families,” he said.

“Creating this partnership will only improve the lives of our students, parents and the greater school community.”

Research shows children benefit from having a caring and stable adult in their lives, said Stephanie Hook, Director of Mentoring Programs at Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Will and Grundy Counties.

Mentors can help District 202 students develop positive self-esteem and self-confidence which breeds good decision-making skills, Hook said.

 “By partnering with District 202 we can provide services to at-risk youth in their school building, a place where they are safe and familiar, while reducing many of the barriers that parents face when seeking supportive services such as transportation and cost,” Hook said.

S.O.A.R needs volunteer mentors, Albores said.

Mentors need to be at least 18 years old, be able to commit to two activities a month, and be willing to develop a positive, healthy mentor relationship with the student.

Volunteers must attend an orientation session. Sign up for those sessions here.

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