Big Brothers Big Sisters of Berks County, PA strives to provide a safe and healthy environment for our Littles, volunteers, their families, and staff. In this time of difficulty, we seek to maintain essential operations; continue providing essential services to our community; and keep safety of our children and others as our #1 priority.
The COVID-19 emergency declaration means we – at Big Brothers Big Sisters – must weigh our Littles’ needs for program activities and the safety of all participants. With this in mind, I would like to make the following announcements:
COUL, TEEN, and trainings are suspended for the next two weeks. Suspended activities include:
o Tuesday, March 17th – COUL: Pajama Night
o Wednesday, March 18th – Parent & Youth Training
o Thursday, March 19th – TEEN Executive Committee meeting
o Saturday, March 21st – Volunteer One-To-One Training
o Tuesday, March 24th – COUL & Match: Tie-Dye Night at KU
The next scheduled COUL & Match activity will be Tuesday, March 31st. Those scheduled to attend trainings will be contacted and re-scheduled. The agency will continue to assess conditions in making further decisions on activities and/or trainings.
Our school-based mentoring program SMART has already been suspended based on the closure of schools throughout Pennsylvania. A date to resume SMART will be based on guidance from our participating school districts.
One-To-One matches are advised to use their discretion in conducting and/or cancelling match meetings. We will suspend the 4-hour requirement per month while this emergency situation continues. However, we urge Bigs who will not be meeting with their Littles to remain in consistent contact with them during this time of need (phone, email, etc.).
Bowl For Kids’ Sake at Hiester Lanes (originally scheduled for April 14th) has been postponed until May 12th. BFKS at Berks Lanes on April 25th and April 26th – as of now – will be held as scheduled.
As long as the emergency declaration allows, BBBS staff will report to work. If the declaration prohibits that, staff members will work from home. If you attempt to contact us by phone and no one answers, email your assigned Casework Manager or – for COUL participants – the Youth Activities Coordinator. You are also more than welcome to email me at JimS@BigsInBerks.org with any questions.
Thank you all for your patience
James J. Smith, MAJ-retired