Jaylynn did well in school, behaviorally speaking. When it came to math and reading, she needed a little extra help.
United Way of Central Florida believes everyone can succeed if their needs are met and partners with local organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide holistic services.
Jaylynn was matched with her Big Sister, Kayla, in April of 2019 at Crystal Lake Elementary. Jaylynn was in 3rd grade at the time her mother was hopeful the program would provide her daughter with the extra guidance she needed.
Kayla, a college student who works at Publix, bonded with Jaylynn instantly. Kayla would meet with Jaylynn each week at the school, eat lunch together, talk about classes, what they have been up to and play games. They also would read together and work on math homework.
UWCF works with 13 partners throughout Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties to improve academic achievement. Thanks to the support of our donors, 3,684 students were enrolled in programs that help kids succeed in school.
In March of 2020, when schools shut down, it was hard on Jaylynn and her family.
“One thing that helped Jaylynn stay positive throughout the quarantine was staying in touch with her Big Sister, Kayla,” Jaylynn’s mom said.
Even though they could not see each other, Kayla checking in with Jaylynn made her feel special and brought some normalcy to the unknown situation they found themselves in. Since school started back again, Jaylynn and Kayla have been meeting weekly on zoom. They can still talk about their lives, do fun activities and play games, even virtually.
Jaylynn’s mom said that she is now a straight-A student and doing well in school.
“I think it is great that Jaylynn looks forward to meeting with her Big Sister every Wednesday,” Jaylynn’s mom said. “For me, it is great because I work a lot and we do not always have time together and she has someone else to talk to and interact with other than me. She loves her Big and enjoys the time they have together. If she needs any help with anything at school, her Big Sister is there to help.”
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