Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio is announcing its first Project Mentor program in Tuscarawas County! Big Brothers Big Sisters has formed a collaboration with Tusky Valley Local Schools to serve children in the middle school with adult mentors from corporate partnerships.

Together we are pursuing a community wide volunteer recruitment program to serve the 5th graders at the middle school. Our goal is to find 25 adult mentors from local businesses in the Bolivar, Mineral City, Zoar and Zoarville communities.

Project Mentor is a school-based mentoring program that takes place at the middle school. All volunteers will be from local businesses that are willing to mentor a fifth grader from 11:35 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. every Thursday beginning in January 2009. The adult mentor will assist the child by encouraging learning through help with homework; supporting the child in building new positive assets that will lead to better decision making skills and communication skills; and build a positive and supportive friendship that engages in open communication. All matches will be supervised and supported by a Big Brothers Big Sisters coordinator.

Project Mentor is a good investment for the community by resulting in a positive economic impact. Increasing the graduation rate and giving our student the choice of post secondary education produces great employability and increased earning power. Our local economy will benefit from a more highly-educated work force, as well as a reduced cost associated with social services.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is asking the community to support this important project. The time investment is only one hour per week to a child. The impact is life altering for the child involved.

If you would like more information or would like to sign up for Project Mentor please contact Debra Handrich at Big Brothers Big Sisters (330) 339-6916 or Tusky Valley Superintendent Mark Murphy (330) 859-2213.