Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteers will be training Wallkill Valley Regional High School students to be mentors for Hardyston and Franklin students in grades 5 through 7.
“The goal is for high school students to become involved in their community and be a positive role model to our younger students,” said Mike Ryder, chief school administrator for Hardyston Township Schools at the school board’s Feb. 9 meeting.
The training, which will be done virtually at first, will be open to high school juniors and seniors. Hardyston, Franklin, and Wallkill Valley High School are advertising now to see how many young people are interested either in becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister or in having one.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest mentorship organization in the country. The organization will match the older students with the younger ones. It’s “another way our region is trying to provide social, emotional support for our young learners, and trying to provide a mechanism for our older students to be able to give back and help their communities,” Ryder said.
Ryder told the Advertiser this is the first year Big Brothers Big Sisters program is coming to Wallkill Valley. Big Brothers Big Sisters does not have chapter in this region and “is looking to establish a home base in the Wallkill region for many years to come,” he said.
The organization’s goal is to start with 10 to 15 students from each school, Hardyston and Franklin. Ryder said the program will take a month to organize.
“If the turnout is good, we intend to expand our offerings,” he said.
“It’s another way our region is trying to provide social, emotional support for our young learners, and trying to provide a mechanism for our older students to be able to give back and help their communities.” Mike Ryder, Hardyston chief school administrator