Category Archives: WITS Tips

Celebrating National Mentoring Month!

By Kristen Strobbe, Chief Program Officer

There’s no better way to kick off a new year than with National Mentoring Month! Launched in 2002 by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, National Mentoring Month focuses attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us – individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits – can work together to increase the number of mentors to help ensure positive outcomes for youth. National Mentoring Month gives us an opportunity to pause and remember why we choose to mentor and appreciate the mentors we’ve had in our lives.

At WITS, January marks the midpoint in our program year, and is a time for the three Rsreflecting, resetting, and refreshing.

We encourage mentors to:

  • Reflect on the first half of the year with their students.
  • Reset a partnership and start anew with a positive mindset.
  • Refresh their mentoring sessions with new conversations and new books – building on the strong foundation that’s already been created.

National Mentoring Month is a great way to highlight the three Rs, and this year, we’ll be doing that through our first ever WITS Mentoring Month Calendar. Every day in January will include an activity that relates to mentoring – from tips on how to be a better mentor, to WITS student and mentor spotlights, to a Tedx Talk about the science of mentorship, there’s something for everyone!

Lastly, thank you to our 1,500+ mentors! Click here to download a template and tell us why you mentor. Share your image on social media and tag us @witschicago. This month is about you and the time you invest in making sure Chicago’s students thrive and succeed. WITS is so grateful for your service.

WITS Tips: What are the elements of a book?

by Sara Martinez, Program Coordinator

A key literacy skill students learn are the different elements of a book. Mastering these elements can help them in their journey of becoming life-long readers. It is important to know the difference between fiction and nonfiction before discussing these elements.

Two types of books

There are two types of books: fiction and nonfiction. Fiction books are written from the authors imagination and contain invented characters and events. Fiction books are usually novels, novellas, or short stories. Nonfiction books contain facts about real life events, people, or ideas. Some examples of nonfiction books are encyclopedias, dictionaries, guides and manuals, or travel books.

Elements of a fiction book

  • Follows a plot (beginning, middle, end)
  • Narrative elements
    • Characters
    • Setting
    • Plot
  • Usually a theme or moral the reader will learn
  • Read for fun!

Elements of a nonfiction book

  • Text features
    • Table of contents
    • Glossary
    • Index
    • Pictures
    • Diagrams
  • Factual
  • Read in any order
  • Read to learn new information