Big brothers and sisters needed

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada is searching for people ages 15 and older to participate in their Bigs in Schools mentoring program at Pau-Wa-Lu and Carson Valley middle schools.

Volunteer mentors will be matched with a child who needs and wants a Big Brother or Big Sister. Matches meet for one hour per week on campus, either during lunch or after school. Time can be spent playing board games, reading a book or studying together, sharing lunch or a snack, or simply talking.

An hour per week can have a huge impact on a child's life. Research shows that children who are matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister demonstrate greater self-esteem, improved school attitude and performance, greater social skills and improved relationships with friends and family. They are less likely to begin using illegal drugs, consume alcohol, skip school or engage in acts of violence.

For more information, contact Carol Scott of Big Brothers Big Sisters at 283-0606 or visit You can be a hero in a child's life!

Flying as a family

My family and I just returned from visiting Scott's folks in Southern California. The weather was terrific and we got to spend lots of quality time lounging on the beach. Sam even tried his hand at surfing. He'd stand on a Boogie board while his dad pulled him around in the shallows. Max had a blast wading in the sea water and digging lots of holes in the sand with his brother.

It was our first time flying with both boys. Before I had children I always hoped for an "adult radius" while flying " I didn't mind kids on the flight as long as they weren't in the seats directly around me. This perspective was on my mind as we boarded the plane.

We weren't assigned seats and you could see the faces of other travelers change when they spotted us coming down the aisle. Most folks avoided direct eye contact either by gazing at some imaginary oasis in the distance or by burying their faces into one of those funny "Sky Mall" magazines. (You know the ones. Flip through one and you might find yourself entertaining such thoughts as, "Gee, a cotton candy maker would come in handy for Jimmy's birthday party next year," or "Why, yes, a sterling silver shampoo dispenser really will streamline my morning shower routine.")

Fortunately we were able to sit all in one row. Sam got the window seat with me in the middle and Scott on the aisle. Max bounced between Scott's lap and mine.

We settled in fairly easily. Thanks to the knowledgeable advice from friends who have flown before with little ones, I'd filled the boys' backpack with coloring books and fresh crayons, a deck of cards, books to read and plenty of snacks.

At one point, the lady sitting in front of Sam turned around and politely but firmly requested that I get him to stop kicking her seat. I smiled politely but firmly back and said I'd try and he did. Aside from that and a few vocal protests from Max, who has just mastered the art of walking and was not happy about being strapped on top of our laps for an hour, the boys were terrific. One kind lady even commented to Scott on how well behaved they were.

All in all, it was a great introduction to family flying, though I'm always happy to have my feet back on the ground.

Enjoy these last lingering summer days, and best wishes for a relaxing, restful, safe Labor Day.

n Amy Roby can be reached at


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