PUBLISHED: 6:37 PM on Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Match has 'tots' of fun
KETCHIKAN - Matched for a short while within Big Brothers Big Sisters Alaska in Ketchikan, "Big Sister" Charlotte meets her "Little Sister" Tatum once a week at school. Most of the time they share lunchtimes and recess.

"If Charlotte didn't come I would miss her," Tatum said.

No matter what activity they do together any seems to be her "favorite."

A "good-luck" element of this match said Tatum's mother, is that "Tatum loves books and my daughter got a librarian as a 'Big.'" She appreciates the fact that BBBSAK took extra time making this match, as "it did a good job in finding the right type of person for my daughter."

Naturally, one of Charlotte and Tatum's favorite activities is reading stories together. Charlotte, as an additional adult in Tatum's life, supplies more of that invaluable relationship element by paying attention and listening to her on a one-on-one basis.

Through their match relationship Tatum blossoms. She has opportunities for self-expression without any pressure; time to be herself; and a chance to lead - all the while being overseen by a caring adult who is extremely mindful of safety. Indoors, Tatum follows the leadership of her teacher; outdoors, she opens up, becoming a leader herself.

Photo by Nancy Coggins
  Big Sister Charlotte and Little Sister Tatum pose in front of Holiday display in library of Tongass School of Arts & Sciences.
Tatum revels in recess.

Recess gives her a chance to choose her activity, to make funny faces, play in the gravel base of the playground and show off her jungle-gym climbing and hanging tricks to her "Big."

Some of Charlotte and Tatum's fun activities include making a paper turkey, paper dolls (including a Hawaiian one) and a paper chain. The two helped with an art mural that took up the whole side of a classroom. One day, Charlotte surprised Tatum when she arrived with Tater Tots®, the idea of which had been sparked by Tatum's nickname, Tater Tot. Lesson learned: Bring enough Tater Tots®, for Tatum's whole lunch table.

Some of Charlotte and Tatum's widely varying adventures: Finding rocks on the playground at recess, and meeting some of the actors and actresses in "Beauty and the Beast." Who knows what excitement will be around their next corner.

Sharing in this match's magic, Tatum loves receiving Charlotte's little surprises like a mini stuffed puppy in a carrying basket. But Charlotte loves having the opportunity to pick out surprises for her. Charlotte, too, gets her magical surprises such as on the day when pushing Tatum on the swings she burst into song.

Tatum's mother said Tatum and Charlotte's meetings represent an "important time for Tatum. Tatum loves Charlotte."

Sound like fun? Join Big Brothers Big Sisters program and add a little magic to your life. Capture fun moments with your "Little." Get involved by calling 247-3350.