Big Brothers Big Sisters, Comcast & Barnes Elementary School Partner to Help Kids Succeed

Oct 18, 2010, 13:37 ET from Comcast Corporation

BEAVERTON, Ore., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest and Comcast are launching an innovative partnership that promises to improve the odds for participating Beaverton third-graders in order for them to achieve academically and succeed as adults.

Comcast has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Barnes Elementary School to launch Beyond School Walls(SM), a program where third graders are matched with company employees for one-to-one mentoring.  This unique program is the first program of its kind to launch in the Portland Metro area. Comcast employees will serve as Big Brothers or Big Sisters, meeting with their Little Brothers/Sisters for the first time at 11:15 a.m. October 19, at Comcast's Beaverton office, 9605 SW Nimbus Ave.  Following the introductory event, the children will spend time with the volunteers at the Comcast facility at least twice a month.  

US Congressman David Wu, Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle and Oregon State Senator Mark Hass will attend the event on October 19. Media are invited to start the journey with the kids at Barnes Elementary and ride with them over to the Comcast offices, where the kids will be presented with a full 'red carpet' treatment. Media who want to take advantage of that opportunity need to be at Barnes Elementary School (13730 SW Walker Rd., Beaverton) no later than 11:00 a.m.

"We are committed to making a positive impact in the lives of the children we serve and are extremely grateful to Comcast for this powerful partnership," said Big Brothers Big Sisters President and Chief Executive Officer Lynn Thompson.  "Partnering with schools with support from public and private partners, as well as individuals is critical to our success with helping children break cycles too often linked to families struggling with issues related to poverty, incarceration and single-parent households."

Beyond School Walls, introduced by Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern Pennsylvania, is a unique workplace mentoring program in which companies give back to their communities by hosting children from area schools at their offices.  In 2008, Comcast launched its Beyond School Walls program in Philadelphia as part of a $10 million national commitment to support Big Brothers Big Sisters, which includes airtime for public service announcements, program sponsorships, national and local board member support, and Comcast leadership development and training opportunities for the organization's staff leaders.  It also includes the sponsorship of the Beyond School Walls program in multiple cities.  In addition to making it possible in Beaverton the program will launch in Jacksonville, Pittsburgh and Detroit this year to help further enrich the lives of young people.      

"We couldn't be happier about our new partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Barnes Elementary School, which allows us to make a significant, direct impact in the lives of many more children," said Charisse Lillie, Vice President, Community Investment and Executive Vice President, Comcast Foundation. "This effort is consistent with our commitment to developing tomorrow's leaders by promoting community service and working with young people in their pursuit of better lives and opportunities."

"When Big Brothers Big Sisters invited us to be a part of this amazing program, we could not have been more pleased," said Susan Rodriguez, principal at Barnes Elementary School.  "We've seen the reports about how the odds for succeeding in school, staying out of trouble and becoming successful adults are improved for children with Big Brothers Big Sisters' mentors.  We are so delighted that Comcast is making it possible for our students to have this amazing opportunity."

About Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest is a volunteer and donor-supported organization that helps children reach their potential through one-to-one, life-changing friendships that have a measurable impact.

In 2009, Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest supported 3,051 children – and the volunteer mentors who serve them – making it the largest Big Brothers Big Sisters agency on the West Coast and 8th largest nationwide. Learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest at

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) ( is one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services. With 23.2 million video customers, 16.4 million high-speed Internet customers, and 8.1 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.

Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, 11 regional sports networks operated by Comcast Sports Group and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet businesses, including (  Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, which owns two professional sports teams, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, and a large, multipurpose arena in Philadelphia, the Wells Fargo Center, and, through Global Spectrum, manages other facilities for sporting events, concerts and other events.

SOURCE Comcast Corporation