Preschool Mentoring

Our Big Friends program enables adult volunteers the opportunity to offer weekly support to preschool children, within the school day, in public and private preschools and child care facilities in Ypsilanti.

It takes a community to raise a child.

Washtenaw Promise is proud to be a part of that community.
We hope you will join us in becoming a mentor to young children who need your support.
Here’s our guarantee:
The experience will enrich the life of a child in need, as well as your own.

Our Big Friends program enables adult volunteers the opportunity to offer weekly support to preschool children, within the school day, in public and private preschools and child care facilities in Ypsilanti. Our mentors work with kids who sometimes struggle with the demands and expectations of their school experience. We help them to be successful in the classroom, and to prepare for the success that awaits them in years to come. Our mentors are there to support young children, to be a big friend, and to help them meet the challenges of their first year in school. Mentors also work to build relationships with parents, and can help them access the resources everyone needs to maintain strong, thriving families.

Our Big Friend mentors:

  • are patient, kind, compassionate and committed to the well being of children
  • believe in the critical importance of early childhood learning
  • are willing and interested to receive ongoing training to develop even greater skills
  • share an interest in building relationships with teachers, parents and caregivers

Big Friend mentors are invited to participate in bimonthly Forums which include discussion and training in trauma informed care and a variety of other topics related to early childhood education. Forums offer presentations from preschool educators, social workers and others in the community. It truly does take a community to raise a child.

Interesting in becoming a Big Friend mentor?

Fill out this form and we will send you details about how to get started.


Why are we doing this?

Current research tells us all we need to know about the importance of early childhood development. The largest opportunities to improve the trajectory of a child’s life happen during pregnancy and the earliest years of life, and continue through age five.

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Washtenaw Promise is proudly supported by our Big Friends Advisory Group:

Emmanuel Jones, Founder, Mentor2Youth

Vicki Cameron, Program Director, Foundations Preschool

Alan Oman, Director of Early Childhood Education, Washtenaw Intermediate School District

Lindsey Seagris, Principal, Perry Early Learning Center

Ginelle Skinner, Principal, Beatty Early Learning Center

Jeanine Harris, Principal, Ford Early Learning Center

Sandy Williams, Executive Director, Foundations Preschool

Deata McLemore, Founder, Bottles-N-Backpacks, Childcare Development Center

Karen Paciorek, Professor, Early Childhood Education & Children and Families, Eastern Michigan University

Althea Wilson, Early Head Start Home Visitor, Washtenaw Intermediate School District

Christina Weiland, Assistant Professor, School of Education, University of Michigan