NEW PHILADELPHIA — A new year, a new partnership, a new impact! Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Central Ohio and Newsymom.com are excited to announce a new agency program that allows mentors to engage with littles earlier than ever before.
Prior to the Pen Pal Program, there was a period in which children had to wait until the best mentor for them was found. This new program essentially eliminates that ‘waiting list.’ Through a sponsorship by Newsymom, littles will have the opportunity to immediately connect with a big by letter.
"We were very excited when Newsymom approached us about the Pen Pal partnership," explained BBBS CEO Beverly Pearch. "This idea will not only give our waiting Littles someone to stand in their corner, but it opens up opportunities to promote literacy and penmanship."
Pen pal mentors will be vetted through an application process. Additionally, confidentially will be maintained by the BBBS New Philadelphia campus acting as the ‘post office.’ Letters from the pen pal mentors will be sent to the BBBS office and then BBBS staff members will send the letters to the littles and vice versa. Pen pals will have each other’s first names and ages, but no other personal information.
Several members of the Newsymom team have already completed the application process and have been welcomed by BBBS as the agency’s first pen pals.
"We are an organization made up of mothers who feel it is our responsibility to lead by example," explained Michaela Madison Executive Director of Newsymom.com. "We are so excited that Big Brothers Big Sisters agreed to partner with us and launch this program. We are certain it will have a positive impact on not only the kids and the mentors, but the entire community."
The program officially launched Jan. 1, 2019.
Those interested in becoming a pen pal mentor can contact Big Brothers Big Sisters at 330-339-6916.