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We just rolled out a new and improved Match Partners website! This site highlights the awesome discounts that our local business partners are offering to our matches, as well as other ways to get involved. Check out all of the great activity ideas for your Match here! Here are two of our awesome Match Partners!
GREAT Theatre - Little is free with paid admission of a Big.
YMCA - St. Cloud - Bigs and Littles come to the Y for free - neither has to be a member. Check in at the front desk and show staff Match ID card.
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Applications for scholarships available through Community Giving are now open. The Community Giving website has 17 pages of scholarships for students from around Central Minnesota and beyond attending both two- and four-year institutions. There are scholarships available for high school seniors heading to college and students currently attending college. Be sure to click on each scholarship to learn more about eligibility, requirements, and scholarship deadlines. Click here for full list of scholarships.
Free State Park Day - On four days each year, all Minnesota state parks and state recreation areas offer free admission, and the second day in 2024 is coming up on Saturday, April 27. That day, no vehicle permits are needed to access state parks. There's a state park within 30 miles of most Minnesotans, so get out there and explore! The next fee free day is Saturday, June 8. Learn more here.
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Llama Llama Read-A-Rama - The United Way of Central Minnesota is hosting Llama Llama Read-A-Rama - The Power of Stories - this April! From 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, head to the Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud for a night of story time, crafts, activities, live llamas, snacks, prizes, and more. This event is free and open to children ages 0-10 and their parent/guardian. No registration is needed, but contact Mary Krippner at 320-223-7991 with questions.
Healthy Kids Day - Join the St. Cloud Area YMCA for Healthy Kids Day! From 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, head to the Y for door prizes, an obstacle course, snacks, a sports sampler, bouncy house for kids 7 and under, crafts, and more. Kids of all ages are welcome - all activities are family friends. Click here for more info.
Parent to Parent Connect - Starting in April 2024, The Arc Minnesota will be offering a virtual, monthly Parent to Parent Connect group. This group is an inclusive and safe space that offers the opportunity for parents/guardians of children of any age with disabilities to connect, support one another, and learn more about state resources. The group will meet from 6-8 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month starting in April. The meetings will be on Zoom. The meeting ID is 871 9958 7556 and the passcode is 714225. Contact Anne Redetzke for more info or accommodation needs.
YMCA Homegrown 5K - Hit the trails this spring with the YMCA's annual Homegrown 5K! This year's event is Friday May 10, at Wilson Park in St. Cloud. The Little Sprouts 1K starts at 6 p.m., and the 5K run and 2 mile walk start at 6:30 p.m. The cost is just $5 per racer and includes a shirt! The Arcanes are putting on a free community concert after the race. Check out day's schedule here.
Spirited Adventure Summer Programs Accepting Referrals - The BRIDGES Collaborative is currently accepting referrals for its Spirited Adventures summer programs. Spirited Adventures is a program for youth who can benefit from an interactive, adventurous approach; for those who have been unsuccessful in traditional or office-based counseling, and for those in need of increased motivation and engagement in therapy. There is a Summer Outdoor Adventure Therapy Program (ages 8-18, weekly June-August), an Adolescent Half-Day Treatment Program (ages 13-18, three days/week year round), and a Boundary Waters Experience (ages 14-18, once per week June-August with an August trip to the BWCA). Email Trista Paulson with questions or to refer a student or check out this website.
Kids Cook at Home - Join Coborns' registered dietitian team for a virtual cooking class! Learn new kitchen skills, try new foods, and get creative in the kitchen. The upcoming class, which features Pear-fect Bites, launches Wednesday, April 17. This class is free and open to kids of all ages. The virtual class will be available starting April 17. Registrants will receive a link to the pre-recorded class that morning, and can watch with their families to make breakfast cookies, pear fries, and a dip! Click here for more info or to register.
Journey Around the World - Join the St. Cloud State Multicultural Student Services department for the 2024 Journey Around the World. The event starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, at the Paramount Theatre in downtown St. Cloud. The event showcases more than 20 cultures from around the world. Tickets are available for purchase on the Paramount website.
EPIC Career Kits at the Library - Explore career options by checking out an EPIC Experience Career Kit from the Great River Regional Library! There are 14 kits to represent different industries, and they are filled with fun activities to help kids of all ages learn more about various industries, jobs, and skills needed for specific careers. Health Science, IT, Education, STEM, Ag, and Arts are just a few of the career areas available. This website has a list all of the kits available and a link to check the kits out.
Affordable Connectivity Program -The FCC's Affordable Connectivity Program allows individuals and families to save on their monthly internet bills and potentially qualify for free high-speed internet. Qualification for the program is dependent on household income. Visit the website for full details and to apply.
Tri-CAP Help for Families - If you or anyone you know is struggling to fulfil basic needs - transportation, paying bills, finding food, etc. - check out the Tri-CAP website. Tri-CAP (Tri-County Action Program) can provide assistance for basic needs, self sufficiency, building stability and more. Click here for more info.
Stearns History Museum Free for Stearns County Residents - The Stearns History Museum recently announced that throughout 2024, the museum will be free of charge for Stearns County Residents! The museum is celebrating 40 years in its current building in 2024. The free admission does not include paid programs or events. Email executive director Amy Degerstrom with questions or for more details on the free admission policy.
QueerConnect Monthly Meetups - QueerConnect Youth events are designed to help connect people in the LGBTQIA+ community. On the last Monday of every month, local mdidle and high school students are welcome at the Youth QueerConnect Monthly Meetup. The meetup takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Rainbow Wellness building at 601 W St. Germain St. Follow St. Cloud Pride on Facebook or check out the website for more info.
Free Meals for Kids - Free nutritious meals for kids 18 and under are just one click away. Download the Free Meals for Kids mobile app to help families and kids find free meals at schools and other sites around Minnesota. Click here for more information.
The 2024 Big Auction is happening now! The online auction runs through Friday, April 19, and features items from local vendors, handmade gift baskets and items, and gift certificates for experiences and locations around Minnesota. New this year are a week in the Boundary Waters, a Rainbow play system, and more! Thank you to Granite Partners and Marco for sponsoring the 2024 Auction!
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Next week, stop by Backwards Bread in St. Cloud to get a delicious loaf of bread and help local kids! From April 22-27, Backwards Bread is hosting its annual Dough for Dollars campaign, and this year BBBS is the featured nonprofit. That week, seven percent of funds raised from ever loaf of bread sold comes back to BBBS to support kids! Thank you, Backwards Bread Co., for choosing BBBS and for your support of local kids! Click here to learn more about Backwards Bread.
BBBS of Central Minnesota recently rolled out a new site highlighting our Match Partners! These partners are local businesses who offer a generous discount to our matches when they show their Match ID cards. The site showcases each partner and is an easy way for matches to check out what fun activity they should do next - or share the site with friends and family to show off all the fun they could have if they were to become a Big! Check out the awesome new site here.
BBBS of Central Minnesota and the InSports Foundation are teaming up to help get more kids in the game. InSports offers scholarships to kids to help pay for participation, traveling, equipment, and more, so that cost isn't a barrier between youth and sports. Athletes in grades K-12 are eligible to apply, and can apply for a scholarship once a year. Click here to apply or for more info.
Every time you shop, your spare change can help to support local youth! When you sign up today to donate on the BBBS of Central Minnesota website, you can round up every purchase on the credit card of your choosing. Every time you swipe that card, the total is rounded up to the nearest dollar - and that extra change stays right here in Central Minnesota! Your extra change could make a BIG difference to local youth - give it a try!
Have you ever thought about being a Big? Do you know someone who would be a great Big? BBBS of Central Minnesota is looking for 10 mentors to be a part of the Bigs on Campus initiative at St. Cloud State, St. Cloud Tech & Community College, and the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University. Meet with your mentee twice a month for an hour at a time at SCSU, SCTCC, or CSB/SJU and help them get accustomed to life on a college campus! Click here for more information or to sign up to be part of the Bigs on Campus program!

Welcome to a world of fun, learning, and resources - The Little Big Virtual Academy!

The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota team has compiled a list of fun and interactive activities and resources for Littles and Bigs to do together (either in-person or virtually). Click here to check it out!
April Policy Reminders Updated 2023
Please visit our BBBS Website to view resources and information for parents/guardians & Bigs including mentoring videos and parenting resources. We also have an extensive listing of community resources including tutors, food and housing assistance, and mental health resources.

In addition, we also list past issues of the Big Happenings on our website. Please click here to access past issues.
Save the date for the EPIC For Influencers' career exploration event. From 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, head to the SCSU Fieldhouse to talk all things careers with local professionals and educators. Learn about education needed, pay scale, experience opportunities offered by local businesses, and more. Parents/guardians are encouraged to attend with their students; all ages are welcome. Email Emily Davis with questions.
St. Cloud Technical & Community College has a variety of summer camps available for kids of all ages. From volleyball camp and culinary camp to scrubs, tools, and a Get to Know Your Vehicle camp, SCTCC has something for everyone. Camps start in June and run all summer on the SCTCC campus. Click here for more info about each camp or to register.
CareerONE's Summer Youth Program is back June 24-July 25, 2024. In those 19 days, youth between the ages of 14-17 in the St. Cloud Area can work on community projects, earn college credit, learn more about resumes and interviewing, explore different careers, and gain valuable job skills - while earning up to $1,020! The program runs from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. each day. Call 320-308-5320 or email for more information or to apply, or check out this website.
The St. Cloud Park & Rec Department is hiring! The department is hiring for all of its summer positions from concessions to lifeguards, maintenance and more. Applicants must be 15 or older, be sure to check each job description for full qualifications and details. Find a full list of open positions and application info on this website.
If you're interested in a career in Radiology, head to the Imaging Open House at the St. Cloud Hospital on Wednesday, April 17. From 5-7:30 p.m., get a tour and learn more about X-ray technology, CT scans, MRIs, and more - and how to get your career started. This event is free and open to everyone. Click here for more info.
Get Ready is a program that partners with K12 schools, higher education, and community-based organizations to collectively advance access to essential information and resources that help students and families make an informed decision about life after high school. Get Ready commits to the students' progress by devoting resources to support their first year of college success. Learn more about Get Ready and resources available here, or check out their summer camps here.
Do you wish you could do more to support your local community and neighbors? United Way of Central Minnesota has a variety of volunteer opportunities available throughout the area! This website shows volunteer opportunities ranging from working with animal shelters to local youth to working with the elderly at local care facilities. Check it out and start giving back to your community!
Are you interested in a career in health care, or just looking to give back to your community? Become a Junior Volunteer at CentraCare! You can learn about career options, meet new people, and gain valuable skills - all while helping patients at the St. Cloud Hospital. Click here for more information or to apply! (Volunteers must be 14 or older.)
If you've got big goals and you're looking for the right job to achieve them, consider joining Career Solutions' Job Club. Job Club meets every Thursday from 10:30 a.m.-Noon and is open to anyone who is job searching. Job seekers must register to attend. Please click here for more information or to register.
Higher Works Collaborative in St. Cloud works to advance the lives and livelihoods of African Americans in Central Minnesota. They offer tutoring and classes to help prepare middle and high schoolers for life after high school. Please click here for more information.

Career Solutions helps Central Minnesota find a job or career that's right for them. The WIOA Young Adult Program can help assess future careers, assess skills and interests and assist with job searches. Please click here for more information.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN | 320-253-1616 |