The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced earlier this week that Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri has been approved for state tax credits. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri received $102,782 in state tax credits under the Department of Economic Development’s Youth Opportunities Program.
The group says they’ll use the tax credits to work toward eliminating the achievement gap in children and decreasing juvenile crime. Georgalu Swoboda is the executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri. She says they are creating a new initiative after finding a majority of children’s reading scores within their program were one to three levels behind: "Well, we hope to recruit about 150 to 100 children to be in a program which is our usual mentoring in the schools and the community. But we’re going to put a little more emphasis on the education.”
Swoboda says Big Brother Big Sister mentors aren’t tutors, but reading could be a big part of their relationship with their little brother or sister: “They give them inspiration to do well at school, but we’re going to give them some tools to hone up on reading skills.”
The Big Brother Big Sister program begins its full schedule this September.