From the beginning, Enabling Minds’ students with intellectual and other developmental disabilities have been accepted by their peers at school. Our students have also helped to change perceptions of persons with disabilities, and are a source of pride for their school and amongst their fellow students. Now many of our 45 students have the support of “big brothers” and “big sisters!”
Our Big Brother, Big Sister Program. . .
In the fall of 2015, an effort to maximize the growth of and opportunities for our students with developmental disabilities led to the launch of our Big Brother, Big Sister program. This program matches up local high school students and our students with disabilities. These high school students first attend sensitivity training so they can learn about students with disabilities. Then, they are then paired with their little brother or little sister.
Once matched, the big brother/big sister spends approximately two hours a week with their partner to do an activity or to play a game. Each high school student will also organize a game for their younger “sibling,” taking into account their physical and intellectual limitations. These may include reading activities, puzzles, music, sports, painting, or other creative activities. The big brother/ big sisters are also invited to one or more field trips with their little brother/sister so they can bond and help build a genuine relationship together.
Our big sisters/brothers placed their hand painting print next to their little sisters/brothers to symbolically mark their collaboration together this year.
At the conclusion of the school year, high school students in this program will complete an assignment in both written and spoken French about their experiences. They will articulate what this program has meant to them and their little brother/sister and how this program has changed their perceptions of people with disabilities.
Christelle and Herold (pictured right) in class
Objectives of the Big Brother, Big Sister Program:
• Establish thoughts, dialogues, debates, and discussion around the theme of ability/disability
• Establish role models for the younger students as they attempt to build their autonomy and practice good behavior
• To sensitize the older students to disability awareness and learn how to relate to student peers and other persons with disabilities
• To create lasting bonds between each big brother/sister and little brother/sister sibling
Click here to read our interactive report!
How You Can Help. . .
Enabling Minds’ students at St. Charles Borromeo School are completely funded through donations. A donation of $25 will sponsor a student’s education for one month, and $300 will sponsor the education of a student for the entire year. All donations are 100% tax deductible and any amount is greatly appreciated. Help us give the gift of an education to a student in need!
Kindly visit: www.enablingminds.com/donate
Enabling Minds Tax ID: 46-5226427
Enabling Minds has achieved the “Gold Participation Level” for non-profit organizational transparency from GuideStar®