Twice a month, club members — juniors and seniors, known as “Bigs” — visit county elementary schools Tolbert, W.L. Swain and Belwood for scheduled visits with their “Littles.”
The club also promotes school pride, known among club members as “Pride in the Tribe.” This reminds the little buddies of the importance of staying focused in school.
“I’m so pleased with how much pride and dignity our kids have taken in this program,” said advisor Andrea Walraven.
Visits are also a reminder for high school students of their accomplishments, said Walraven.
“They see how far they have come and really enjoy showing their buddies what it takes to graduate,” Walraven said. “Not only does this program benefit the little buddies, but it gives our high school students a new perspective on what it means to be a Gordon Central Warrior.”
Holly Sisson, assistant principal at Tolbert Elementary School, said the club is inspiring.
“The program is positive in so many ways, but the best benefit by far is the reaction from all of the ‘Littles,’” Sisson said. “’One ‘Little’ actually stated, ‘This is the best day of my life.’”
“When I see my ‘Littles’ smile and their face light up when their buddy comes to the classroom door, it is such a rewarding experience,”Sisson added.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters, a partner of the club, interviews potential “Bigs,” and must have good student attendance, behavior and receive recommendations from teachers before consideration.
“It’s an honor to be selected for BWLW and I believe our students realize the importance of it all,” Walraven said.
Walraven hopes the “Littles” will one day be the “Bigs.”
“Ultimately, it’s those ‘Littles’ who will one day be our ‘Bigs,’ and we want to instill a sense of pride and tradition in them early on,” she said.