ST. LOUIS – Holiday gift giving started a few days early this year as AT&T and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri (BBBSEMO) celebrated the results of the AT&T Holiday Challenge. AT&T donated $14,500 to BBBSEMO and gave away four Pantech Element tablets during the special assembly Thursday morning, Dec. 20, at Pamoja Preparatory Academy. Sharon Reed, news anchor at KMOV, was the emcee for the event.
Aimed at supporting BBBSEMO’s mission of building trusting and enduring relationships that encourage and support young people, AT&T launched a holiday challenge earlier this fall with a dual purpose: assist with volunteer recruitment and acknowledge the academic success of Little Brothers/Little Sisters.
“Volunteering your time as a mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters is one of the best gifts you can give a child in need this holiday season,” said John Sondag, president of AT&T Missouri. “We are proud of the incredible work Big Brothers Big Sisters is doing here in St. Louis, and want to see this success continue in the future.”
Lauding AT&T’s initiative, BBBSEMO President/CEO Becky James-Hatter commented, “While AT&T is applauding our Littles and our school partners and helping us in our work to put caring adults in the lives of children who need them, we applaud AT&T for stepping up with a unique and powerful way to support us and, in turn, the larger community.”
In conjunction with the agency’s effort to recruit 300 volunteers by the holidays, AT&T offered a Pantech Element tablet to the BBBSEMO staff person or current volunteer who could recruit the most new Big Brothers/Big Sisters in a specified period of time. Candace Brown, a relationship specialist in BBBSEMO’s school-initiated division, earned the top prize for recruiting six volunteers in a little less than two weeks.
The second part of the holiday challenged focused on BBBSEMO’s ABCToday! early warning and recognition system. A key component to ABCToday! is the celebration of success. AT&T awarded two Pantech tablets in honor of the most successful ABCToday! schools in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau. In addition, AT&T awarded a fourth tablet in honor of the St. Louis school with the best attendance in the first quarter.
Littles at Pamoja were acknowledged in St. Louis for their academic success as well as for attendance. Jefferson Elementary School’s Littles were recognized in Cape Girardeau. The tablets were given to the BBBSEMO staff members who work at the preceding schools and will be made available to Little Brothers/Little Sisters and Big Brothers/Big Sisters who meet at the schools.
ABCToday! is a partnership model driven by BBBSEMO to ensure that students Attend school, Behave while there and have Classroom success in reading and math. BBBSEMO's partner school districts include St. Louis Public School District and Normandy School District in the greater St. Louis area as well as the Cape Girardeau Public School District.
Participating in the morning event were St. Louis Public School Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams and Marlene Davis, Alderwoman for the 19th Ward.
With hundreds of children waiting for a Big Brother or Big Sister, the need for volunteers is ongoing. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Vivian Gibson at (314) 361-5900 or apply online at www.bbbsemo.org.
(Pictured with five Pamoja Littles, from left, are Sharon Reed, anchor at KMOV; Marlene Davis, Alderwoman for the 19th Ward; Becky James-Hatter, President/CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri; John Sondag, President - AT&T Missouri; Sean Nichols, Pamoja Principal; and Dr. Kelvin Adams, St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent.)
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri was founded in 1914 as one of the “charter” agencies of the Big Brothers Big Sisters national movement. Through our 4:1+1 model, young people are surrounded by caring and supportive adults to inspire them and show them anything is possible. The organization currently provides services to children and families in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Cape Girardeau County and Scott County. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri is a proud member of the United Way. For more information, please contact Mary Jane Daum at 314-615-1094, or visit www.bbbsemo.org.
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