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Kiwanis learns about Big Brothers Big Sisters

February 19, 2007

Fifty years of matching adult mentors with children has taught the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County a few things about judging character.

So, considering that "Serving the Children of the World" has been a long-standing Kiwanis priority, this seemed to be a natural match for a talk over lunch.

So it was Feb. 1 when two officials of local Big Brothers Big Sisters talked to members of the Kiwanis Club of Hagerstown.

Crystal Davis, casework supervisor, and Tracy Mumma, mentor manager, outlined the two main programs of this youth-serving organization.

The School-Based Mentor Program pairs interested adults with students chosen by each school in grades kindergarten through eight. For an hour a week, the mentor visits the child at school, providing a stable relationship. The pair might read, do homework or a project, or just talk.

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The Community-Based Mentoring Program offers the adult a chance to spend three to five hours a week with the youngster as an older friend and mentor.

Davis shared stories of Big Brother/Big Sister relationships that have lasted after the student turns 18.

Both programs require an application with references, and a criminal background check.

Interested? Call Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County at 301-739-4711 for more information.

The Kiwanis Club has several service programs for youth. These include weekly reading programs at several area preschools, and Key Clubs at North Hagerstown and South Hagerstown High schools. Kiwanis clubs also raise money to support youth agencies such as The Boys & Girls Club of Washington County, Girls Inc., the Mason-Dixon Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Little League and Good Citizen programs at elementary schools.

The Hagerstown Kiwanis Club meets Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. at Richardson's Restaurant on Dual Highway. The gatherings feature lunch and a presentation on local issues or interests.

To learn more about the club, call Membership Chair Fred Nugent at 301-739-9325.

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