Beyond School Walls
ACF Region 6 joined with Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas (BBBS) to bring the “Beyond School Walls” program to the Health and Human Services & Social Security Administration offices in Dallas. “Beyond School Walls” is a version of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ classic school-based mentoring program – except that “Littles” meet with their “Bigs” at the workplace instead of the school. Littles not only have a new adult friend and role model, but are also exposed to a positive work environment – something they may never have experienced before. BBBS worked with guidance counselors, teachers, principals and parents at the local elementary school; focusing on the children who would most benefit from a mentor. The children in the BBBS Program are challenged by social and economic circumstances beyond their control. ACF led the effort to recruit fourteen federal employees from HHS and SSA to participate as a Bigs and be matched with a Little. The Littles come from a local elementary for a few hours each month to enjoy one-on-one mentoring with their matched Big by talking, working on homework, touring the office, or hanging out in the cafeteria.