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Honestly, we would all love to spend more time volunteering, but between work, school events and driving the kids to their various activities there just isn’t enough time. Plus some Comcasters already volunteer in one or more ways.
That’s the beauty of Beyond School Walls. The program takes fourth and fifth graders or “littles” from a local elementary school and matches them with employees or “bigs” from a nearby company. They meet twice a month during the lunch hour at the workplace. In our case, they meet at our regional headquarters and customer service center in Lynnwood.
So what influence can a couple of lunches a month with a “ big” have on a fourth or fifth grader? The answer is, plenty. Kids who participate in the program see improvements in their attendance and grades, according to their teachers and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
They also have a lot of fun. We literally rolled out the red carpet for the 26 “littles” from Woodside Elementary School in Everett today, pretending they were Hollywood stars arriving at the Oscars. Each “Little” received a pair of sunglasses. They were greeted as they came off the bus by Comcast employees who gave them high fives and held up signs with their names on them.
Comcast began the Beyond School Walls program at our corporate headquarters in Philadelphia in 2008. It has grown to become a key component in our national partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America—a partnership in which Comcast has contributed more than $30 million in cash and in kind support.
Update on Dec. 6: Click here to see a longer version of the video about Comcast and Big Brothers and Big Sisters Beyond School Walls