Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine is looking for community-minded volunteers to serve as school coordinators at its school-based mentoring sites this fall.

Coordinators are adults from the community who can dedicate one-and-a-half hours for one day each week from October through May (except school vacation weeks) to be at the match meetings of high school and college-aged Bigs and their elementary- and middle-school aged Littles. The meetings take place after school, generally from 3-4:30 p.m.

Every school mentoring location has one to two coordinators who attend each week to oversee and supervise the weekly match meetings to ensure match quality and child safety. School coordinators are interviewed in person and screened and trained by a professional BBBSMCM staff member. Ongoing training opportunities, including a summer school coordinator orientation for all new and returning volunteers, are also provided by BBBSMCM staff.

Successful school coordinators are responsible, dedicated, love working with and coaching youth of all ages and backgrounds, have great listening skills, are willing to learn, love to play, and have patience, flexibility and a sense of humor.

Coordinators arrive early to greet the Bigs and Littles. They help set up and clean up meeting supplies and snacks, facilitate group match activities if appropriate, and coach Bigs as they navigate their relationships with their Littles. Coordinators have regular weekly contact with BBBSMCM staff to discuss match meeting and site logistics, attendance, successes, issues and concerns.

The agency is looking for school coordinators at the following sites in Waldo County for the 2011-2012 school year:

Captain Albert Stevens School (Belfast), Lincolnville Central School, Leroy Smith School (Winterport), Mount View Elementary (Thorndike), Searsport District Middle/High School, Unity College, and Wagner Middle School (Winterport).

“Being a school coordinator is a great way to become involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization,” said Katie Orlando, the agency’s school-based mentoring director. “Last year, I was the school coordinator for Lincolnville Central School and spent an hour each Thursday afternoon with Bigs and Littles as they did arts and crafts projects, played board games, or played outside or in the gym. Other times I planned fun, low- or no-cost special activities like baking sugar cookies for the school staff, and each other, or a photo scavenger hunt.”

Coordinators spend time with each Big and Little, observing interactions, and coaching Bigs as they learn more about their Littles and the adversities they may be facing in their lives. Coordinators help Bigs and Littles discover more about themselves through the match experience.

Bigs in the program see the huge impact they make in their Little’s life by being there each week, and the Littles benefit from having an older, positive role model and a friend they can count on.

Those interested in learning more about this role and who would like to set up an in-person interview can contact Matt Donahue, school-based mentoring manager, at 593-0380 or by email at: matt@bbbsmcm.org.