Enroll a Child
As a parent, you recognize the potential of your child better than anyone. By giving them the opportunity to be part of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa, you are starting them down a path to an even brighter, more promising future.
How it Works
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa offers two core mentoring programs: School-Based and Community-Based Mentoring. These programs are available at no cost to families. Each program requires a minimum of a year commitment.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa partners with select metro Des Moines elementary schools. A mentor (Big) visits with your child (Little) at school for 30-60 minutes per week to offer one-to-one attention and extra help with school assignments. The teacher will ensure that scheduled visits will not interfere with regular scheduled classes. We serve children who are in kindergarten to 5th grade in our traditional School-Based Mentoring Program. For our Workplace Mentoring Program, we serve children in 6th to 8th grade.
Our mentors are volunteers from the community (high school or college students, professionals, senior citizens, etc.) who want to be a positive role model for a child. We conduct background checks on each of our mentors - criminal, child abuse and driving records - to ensure the safety of the child.
This program is based on the mentor (Big) taking your child (Little) out into the community to experience new opportunities, like visiting the science center, playing catch in the park or just hanging out. Your child and their mentor meet a minimum of twice a month for a couple of hours each visit. Your child must be living in Polk, Warren, or Dallas county and be between the ages of K-14 at the time of enrollment. Once they are matched in our Community-Based program, they may remain with their Big until they turn 18 or graduate from high school.
The first step is to enroll your child on the waiting list. To begin this step, the child's parent or guardian (not service provider) must complete the online form, or call Grace Breiholz, Child Enrollment Coordinator, at 515-288-9025 x237. Afterwards, we will be in contact with more information about your child becoming a Little.
If you agree to your child being involved in this opportunity, your role in the program is simple:
Community-Based: The match is assigned a Case Manager who follows up with monthly updates for the first year. After the first year, quarterly updates follow. Match updates include a phone call with you, your child and their Big. It includes a check on safety, how the match is going and goals. The Case Manager is there for extra support, resources and concerns.
School-Based: The match is assigned a Case Manager who stays in contact with the match and is available for extra support, resources and concerns. For the first year, the Case Manager will contact your child and their Big every other month for updates.
How to Enroll Your Child
The first step is to enroll your child on the waiting list. To begin this step, the child's parent or guardian (not service provider) must complete the child inquiry form below or call Grace Breiholz, Child Enrollment Coordinator, at 515-288-9025 x237. Afterwards, we will be in contact with more information about your child becoming a Little.