'School Friends' stepping stone to being a 'Big' - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

27 Kids Who Matter: 'School Friends' stepping stone to being a 'Big'

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Imagine getting life lessons, over lunch.

Ten schools in the area host a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County program called School Friends.

CEO Dora Zuniga says, "For someone who is a little hesitant about 'What am I going to do? What am I going to do with a kid?' This is a great opportunity to have limited time with the kid in a structured environment where it's very safe because there's a staff member when you meet with this young person."

Mentoring is important for new students.

"When you're new in a community, you have less contacts.  So the idea of mentoring in this form provides an alternative to the kids who are just moving here and they don't know as many people. So how do you help them transition to be successful part of the school community as well as the community?" says Tim Culver, Superintendent of the Sun Prairie School District.

Bigs meet with littles for an hour after school or during lunch.

"Many times we have lots of matches that start off in the School Friends system and then they end up saying, 'You know we really like each other," says Zuniga.

culver says it's not tutoring.

"It's more the curriculum is life, and academics are applied,which is how it should be as kids get older. So we don't need people with specific teaching skills. We need people who know how life works and are willing to share it with children."

Sun prairie has three middle schools with the School Friends program.

The Madison School District has seven sites.

For more information click here.

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