WITS Talks: Saying Goodbye: Creating Healthy Transitions with Michele Lansing, MA, MS Ed., LCSW

By Ellen Werner, Program Director

When it comes time to saying goodbye, we can often be at a loss for words. Creating a healthy and supportive transition can feel difficult, but with the right information and time for reflection, we can feel more comfortable navigating these key moments. In her WITS Talk, “Saying Goodbye: Creating Successful Transitions,” Michele Lansing, MA, MS Ed., LCSW examines the complex factors that contribute to an individual’s reactions to endings.

The full video of the WITS Talk above. Read on for an interview with Michele and additional resources for saying goodbye to students.

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Partner Spotlight: BMO Harris Bank

By: Nick Colbert, Program Coordinator

Penn Elementary student reads with her mentor from BMO Harris Bank in the Mid-Day Mentoring program.
Penn Elementary student reads with her mentor from BMO Harris Bank in the Mid-Day Mentoring program.

WITS is built on the values of community, consistency, and empowerment. Through two programs with WITS, BMO Harris Bank invests in the students of North Lawndale and empowers their employees to give back as volunteers. Since 2007, students in the Mid-Day Mentoring and Workplace Mentoring programs have met on Wednesdays during the school year with their mentors from BMO to read and work on their homework.

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Student & Mentor Spotlight: Zoria, Eric, and Stephanie

By Annie Kennedy, Community Manager

Zoria and her mentor Eric at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

This month’s Student & Mentor Spotlight highlights the trio of Zoria, a 6th grader from Fairfield Academy, and Eric Akiwumi and Stephanie Sahota, mentors in the Workplace Mentoring program at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Their pairing in 2016 was a brilliant move that would lead to many heartwarming and hilarious WITS sessions.
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“We are developing citizens of the world.”

Dr. Olimpia Bahena, Chicago Public Schools Principal at Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy, Rochelle Lee Teacher Award Alum, and WITS Board of Directors member, discusses the importance of student literacy and her school’s partnership with WITS.

The WITSummer Books campaign provides access to books, cultivating essential literacy skills among students and supports students’ growth as readers by exposing them to new and engaging books over the summer months. Please consider giving at www.witschicago.org/wsb

WITS in the News – WGN Radio: The first identity that a student has is “I can read”

Brenda Langstraat, WITS CEO, on WGN Radio.

Brenda Langstraat, WITS CEO, talked with Scott Cochran on WGN Radio about WITS’ partnership with Chicago Public Schools to advance student literacy in 80 neighborhood schools through the integration of teacher training and mentorship programs—a unique model that is accelerating reading level growth in our students. The goal is that every student in WITS programs achieves that ‘spark’ of a love of learning! Thank you, Steve and WGN! Listen here.

WITSummer Books 2018

By Ellen Werner, Program Director

WITSummer Books 2018

Each May, WITS celebrates our students by giving them brand new books: these are our WITSummer Books. The WITS staff selects the books with WITS students’ interests, abilities, and backgrounds in mind. To ensure that students receive books that are close to their reading and interest level, WITS gives different book sets comprising of different formats and genres to pre-kindergarten-first graders, second-third graders, fourth-fifth graders, and sixth-eighth graders. Wondering what WITSummer books students will be receiving at the end of this school year? Read this article to find out! 

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