Margaret Reynolds, 16, a sophomore at St. Catherine’s School, started a “Big Sisters” mentoring program that pairs middle and high school girls with at-risk children from St. James’ Children’s Center, a local daycare center at St. James’ Episcopal Church. Margaret used to visit the center with her mother to read stories to the children. “I knew how much these children needed individual attention and love, and a strong and steady role model,” said Margaret. She approached the director at the daycare center and her school’s middle level principal with her idea for “Big Sisters,” and both thought it was an excellent idea. Margaret spoke at a student assembly and 12 girls signed up. The Big Sisters visit the children every week, working on art projects with them, reading them stories, and lending an ear and a shoulder. The group also plans special events and fundraisers throughout the year. Two years after the program began, there are now 29 Big Sisters bringing sunshine to the children’s lives. “Not only do the children receive our special attention and affection, but we also feel their love for us in return,” said Margaret.
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