Category Archives: WITS Talks

WITS Talks: Building Positive Relationships with Students presented by Michele Lansing, MA, MS Ed., LCSW

By Eric Coleman Development & Communications Manager

On November 9, 2018, Michele Lansing, MA, MS Ed., LCSW of the Juvenile Protective Association (JPA) presented the first WITS Talk of the 2018-19 school year on building positive relationships with students.  Michele provides insights on working with students that are especially relevant to new or returning mentors working with new students. Read on for an interview with Michele and view the accompanying slideshow for the above video.

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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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WITS Talks: Engaging Young Readers with Graphic Novels with Amy Duffy

Interview by: Eleanor Dollear, Program Coordinator

Amy Duffy is the Content Curator of Youth Materials for Chicago Public Libraries. She recently led a WITS Talk for a group of volunteers, staff, and community members on the value of graphic novels and how we can support students in getting as much as possible out of them. 

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WITS Talks: Understanding Humane Literature with Mickey Kudia

Interview By: Tra’Lisha Renteria, WITS Program Coordinator

Mickey Kudia leads a WITS Talk on understanding humane literature at BP.

Mickey Kudia, Chicago Program Manager at HEART (Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers), led a WITS Talks on understanding humane books. Mickey holds a Master of Education in Humane Education from Valparaiso University and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Communication and Education from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. As a humane educator, Mickey travels to schools throughout Chicago educating young people about animal protection, human rights, and environmental ethics. He has presented workshops on humane education and service learning at conferences across the United States. Below, Mickey explains the concept of humane literature and shares some best practices on how to have these impactful conversations with students.

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WITS Talks: On Being Trauma-Informed with Jacob Dancer III

Jacob Dancer III delivers a WITS Talks training at Exelon

Jacob Dancer III is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Program Manager at UCAN. Jacob led a WITS Talks on being trauma- informed for WITS volunteers and community members on November 14, 2017. A full video of the training, hosted by Exelon, is included below. Please read on for a complementary interview with Jacob on identifying trauma and its effects on young people.

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