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10 Big Brothers Big Sisters Agencies to Receive 2009 Annie E. Casey Family Strengthening Award

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Ten Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies will receive the 2009 Annie E. Casey Foundation Family Strengthening Award for "engaging parents as partners" to help children improve their odds for success.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the nation's largest donor-supported volunteer mentoring network with nearly 400 agencies that serve children of single, low-income and incarcerated parents, with a focus on breaking negative cycles. Big Brothers Big Sisters' professional match coordinators (case workers) provide ongoing support to volunteer "Bigs," "Littles," and their families -- creating positive, productive bonds between them while achieving sustainable positive academic and social impacts.

"We accept and value Casey's position that 'children do well when families do well -- and families do better when they live in supportive communities.' The awards bring to light that through careful recruiting, matching, monitoring and ongoing support of Bigs, Littles and parents, children are improving in school and avoiding violent, illegal behaviors," said Big Brothers Big Sisters of President and Chief Executive Officer Judy Vredenburgh. "In fact, data from a new study conducted for Big Brothers Big Sisters by Harris Interactive(R) shows alumni 'Littles' are more likely than their peers to be college graduates and have household incomes of at least $75,000, and likely to have strong family relationships."

This year's winners are recognized for specific areas of pace setting success:

  • Effective engagement of parents/guardians as partners in the mentoring process: in the goal-setting for the child and the mentoring match, in helping the child towards the match goals, and in providing feedback on the progress of the child during the match period
  • Involving parents in changes to or developments in programming
  • Including parents and families in agency-specific activities
  • Building an effective resource/referral system for agency families to link with community resources
  • Provision of key and relative staff development opportunities that will benefit the families they interact with
  • Securing co-investment resources to support their family-strengthening efforts and work

The 10 award winning agencies will receive $12,500 awards and share their best practices with other Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies. The winning agencies include:

BBBS of the Greater Twin Cities

BBBS of Eastern Missouri

BBBS of Middle Tennessee

BBBS of Greater Miami

BBBS of Northern Nevada

BBBS of South Texas

BBBS of Pinellas County

BBBS of Ventura County

BBBS of Harrisonburg Rockingham County

BBBS of Central Maryland

About Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters helps vulnerable children beat the odds. The organization depends on donations to help recruit volunteers and reach more children. Funding is used to conduct background checks on volunteers to ensure child safety; and provide ongoing support for children, families and volunteers to build and sustain long-lasting relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters is proven to improve children's odds for succeeding in school, behaving nonviolently, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and breaking negative cycles. Headquartered in Philadelphia and with nearly 400 agencies across the country, Big Brothers Big Sisters serves more than a quarter million children. Learn how you can change how children grow up in America by going to

SOURCE Big Brothers Big Sisters
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