Associated Bank presented a $10,000 check to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin (BBBSNEW) today in support of one-to-one mentoring at Green Bay’s Fort Howard Elementary School.
The support, part of BBBSNEW’s Adopt-A-School program, comes as Associated Bank’s downtown Green Bay branch has committed to encouraging its employees to become mentors to children at the school, and support the school’s needs in other ways.
“Associated is committed to strengthening the local communities in which we serve and we empower our colleagues to give generously of their time and resources,” said Denis Hogan, senior vice president and Northeast Wisconsin regional president, Associated Bank. “Yearly, Associated’s volunteerism efforts result in thousands of hours of service to a variety of organizations that matter most to our colleagues. We’re excited to add this new program with BBBSNEW and Fort Howard into the fold.”
Fort Howard Elementary is one of 30 schools serving elementary students in the Green Bay Area Public School District. More than 91 percent of its student body is economically disadvantaged, according to the state Department of Public Instruction.
“For our students, mentors are invaluable,” said DeAnn Lehman, principal at Fort Howard Elementary School. “They bring our students who need or want a caring, responsible adult in their lives, just that. This relationship lifts the students’ self-esteem, contributes to a better attitude at home and school, contributes to the development of strong relationships and provides that student someone who shows them genuine attention and makes them feel important. Our students look forward to the special one on one attention.”
Associated Bank is the first company to commit to an elementary school through BBBNEW’s Adopt-A-School program, which seeks to build neighborhood resources in support of student success.
The program was established to strengthen relationships between businesses that support employee volunteerism and schools in their neighborhoods, said Katie Hess, executive director of BBBSNEW. The agency’s site-based mentoring program allows Big Brothers or Big Sisters to meet with their Little during lunch or after school at the child’s school for one hour a week during the school year. With employer support of the small time commitment, site-based mentoring is often an easy way for adults to make a difference in a child’s life.
“Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is just one way Associated Bank employees will benefit a child in our community,” Hess said. “We hope that as Associated’s employees become more familiar with their Littles, and are visiting the school on a regular basis, they’ll be motivated to support other needs that benefit the entire student body. Our ultimate goal is that this starts a movement of corporate giving in our community connecting companies with schools to share the responsibility of raising strong, community-minded children together.”
Compared with their peers, children who have a mentor are shown to develop confidence, build better relationships and avoid risky behaviors, she said. Youth enrolled in BBBSNEW’s programs during 2018 showed improvement in social acceptance (65%), grades (63%), attitudes toward risky behaviors (86%) and parental trust (79%).
BBBSNEW would like to collaborate with more businesses with a desire to make a difference through employee volunteerism. To learn more about corporate opportunities, contact Brehanna Skaletski, development director, at 920-489-3513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nearly 100 children are on the waiting list to be matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister. To learn more about being a Big, go to bbbsnew.org or call 920-498-2227.