Machias Savings Bank recently awarded a $5,000 Community Development grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine to run after school youth mentoring programs at seven Penobscot County locations — the Boys and Girls Club of Bangor, the Bangor Y, Old Town Rec Center, Old Town Y, and three elementary and middle schools. The grant will utilize BBBSMM’s existing partnerships with two local colleges, Husson University and the University of Maine, to provide mentors for younger elementary school students in Penobscot County.

The grant will also allow the agency to recruit and train high school students from Hampden Academy, Mt. View High School, and Camden Hills Regional High School and match them with Littles in BBBS’s school mentoring programs in Winterport, Mt. View and Lincolnville in Waldo County.

Each of these programs will match young children with older mentors, giving them a positive, consistent role model in their lives throughout the school year. During the summer months, matches will keep in touch through a Pen Pal program, exchanging letters, cards and photos.

Funding will help provide program supplies such as board games, arts and crafts, sports supplies and healthy snacks for matches to use to build their friendships. It will also support child safety and relationship development in the form of consistent support to matches from BBBSMM’s professional staff.

Big Brothers Big Sisters serves 700 Maine youth annually in Androscoggin, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Somerset and Waldo counties. To volunteer and donate today, call 236-2227, or visit bbbsmidmaine.org.