Nearly 150 Children Waiting To Be Matched With Big Brother, Big Sister

Friday, March 14, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

Big Brothers Big Sisters Marketing Coordinator Ansley Kellerman told members of the Chattanooga Civitan Club on Friday afternoon that the organization has provided mentors to over 250 children in the area.

The organization has both community and school based programs. Volunteers who participate in the community program spend four to six hours with their "little" every month for at least a year.

Ms. Kellerman said, "We ask all of our volunteers for a year commitment because a lot of these kids have already been disappointed in their lives and we don't need them to be disappointed again.

"

For the school program, volunteers mentor children in an after school setting. Teachers recommend students who they believe would benefit from the program to get involved.

Currently, Ms. Kellerman said there are still nearly 150 children who are waiting to be matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister.

Big Brothers Big Sisters also markets itself to families with an incarcerated parent through its Amachi program, which receives state funding. The organization works to provide children of current inmates with a positive influence.

Ms. Kellerman said, "We're not trying to replace that parent, we're just trying to add to that child's life."

Right now, 70 percent of children with an incarcerated parent will also end up in jail themselves. Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks to change that.

Researchers have found that children who spent time with a Big Brother or Big Sister for 18 months were 46 percent less likely to use illegal drugs and 33 percent less likely to engage in violent behavior.

Other studies found that involvement in the program substantially improved performance in school. 


Chattanooga Starts New Fire Academy

The Chattanooga Fire Department started a new fire academy on Friday and it may be the largest in the department's history. The 36 recruits will go through 27 weeks of rigorous mental and physical training, including instruction on fire suppression, vehicle extrication, hazardous materials and many other related disciplines. The firefighters must also go through medical training ... (click for more)

East 5th Street Streetscape Project Begins Monday

East 5th St. will undergo sidewalk replacement and streetscape enhancements to add lights and trees along the streets starting on  Monday . During this time, parallel parking only will be allowed along E. 5th Street and the road will be closed to thru traffic from the ramp off Houston St. Work for this project is expected to continue until  Wednesday, Oct. 26 ... (click for more)

County GOP Chairman Says Mayor Berke Should Immediately Resign For Admittedly Using Encrypted Messaging With Top Staff

Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Tony Sanders said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke "should immediately resign after admitting that he and his senior staff employ an encrypted message application that neither records or stores messages sent and received for the purpose of official city of Chattanooga business on a government-owned server." He said he was guilty of "deliberates ... (click for more)

Grohn Says Berke Use Of Encrypted Message Service Was Deliberate Attempt To Avoid Open Records

City Councilman Larry Grohn said F riday  that the use of an encrypted message service by Mayor Andy Berke was a deliberate attempt to avoid the Open Records Act. Councilman Grohn, who is running for mayor, said, " In recent days, there has been one story after another come out concerning how the Mayor and his head staffers have used end-to-end encryption apps ... (click for more)

Outrageous To Give Vehicles To Nation Of Islam Neighborhood Patrol - And Response

Chief of Police Fred Fletcher of the Chattanooga Police Department has recently decided to give two surplus patrol vehicles to the Nation of Islam Neighborhood Patrol. This is an insult to the life and memory of PO Philip Cardillo who lost his life in April 1972 at the hand of the members of the Nation of Islam Mosque No.7 in Harlem and his fellow officers who were savagely beaten ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Knobfather & Me

I’ve seen some beautiful things in my life. I’ve eaten dinner inside the Eiffel Tower with the city of Paris all aglitter below. I’ve been sprayed by champagne in the Dallas Cowboys’ dressing room after they won the Super Bowl. I’ve stood both at the top and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I’ve snorkeled in the Great Exuma islands, learned to snow ski in the Austrian Alps, and ... (click for more)