The Importance of Bilingual Bigs
We are fortunate to have amazing Bigs who bring diverse skills and talents to each of their matches. These assets help create long-lasting, meaningful friendships between Littles and Bigs. One especially important skill that Volunteers bring to a match is a fluency in Spanish.
Forty-six percent of all Littles who apply to be in the program are Hispanic — and a large portion of them come from a home where Spanish is spoken as the primary language.
Although the majority of our Littles are bilingual, many of their parents are not, which creates a significant need for Spanish-speaking Bigs.
Matches can definitely flourish and be successful even when a Big does not speak Spanish. However, bilingualism can benefit a match in a number of ways:
- First, it helps take a Little off the wait list! Many of our Littles who come from Spanish-speaking homes wait for longer periods of time (sometimes years) to be matched. A Spanish-speaking Big helps increase the likelihood that these Littles will be matched sooner.
- Second, it allows a Volunteer to connect with a Little’s parent or guardian on a more personal level. Even a conversational grasp of the language can help develop your relationship with a parent, which strengthens your match in multiple ways.
- Lastly, it provides Bigs and Little with the opportunity to participate in a wider range of activities during outings. Develop your relationship with your Little (and improve your Spanish!) by taking a “Yoga en Español” class, watching a Spanish language movie together, or attending a bilingual play.
Interested in becoming a mentor bilingüe? Apply online or call us at 512.442.4646 to learn more about how you can be the Big Brother or Big Sister that will make a difference in the life of a child.