As we approach the end of the school year and get ready for summer, WITS looks at how to close out programs and make the transition to summer as smooth as possible for students. The principal way that we do that is through WITSummer Books. Every year, WITS mentors present several books to their students to add to their bookshelves that they can read and reread throughout the summer. WITSummer Books extends learning opportunities for WITS students outside of the classroom and cements the relationship created between students and mentors throughout the program year. To learn more about what giving and receiving these books truly means to students and their mentors though, we asked them!
Melissa, Karen, and Jayden have all participated in the WITS Workplace Mentoring Program with their mentors at Jones Day this year and were part of the program last year. Having received WITSummer Books from their mentors before, they shared what it meant to receive these books, and what their favorite part of receiving a new book is. Their responses show that getting these books means more to the students than just having new books to read.
“When I get books from my mentors I feel like it is something that they will really appreciate for me to read during the summer and it’s important for me to read too.”
“My favorite part of getting a new book is to find out new words and things that I could learn.”– Melissa, 5th Grade
When I get books from my mentors… “I feel happy because we get to read more.”
“My favorite part was when I went home and started to read them.”– Karen, 4th Grade
When I got books from my mentors… “I felt good because it made me read more.”
My favorite part of getting new books is… “If it’s a chapter book, I’ll probably get another book of that topic.”
“My favorite part of getting those books was to read more.”– Jayden, 4th Grade
Mentors Beth and Melissa have been volunteering with WITS for several years and shared how meaningful it is to them to share these books with their students and how important it is for students to have books to read over the summer.
“I think it’s always important to have a nice transition for the kids too. You read with them all year long and they’re able to borrow the books, but then to get something that they actually get to take home is special. I mean I know that my kids always like to read before bed; they go to sleep with a book next to them. To be able to give that to another kid is something special.”
“I just think it’s important for kids to be able to have something tangible to take home with them. … To have a book that they can read over and over I think is really important because they find something new every time they go through it. So to have something that’s theirs and that they can learn and grow with. They find different things in the story each time, find new words that they know, that they maybe didn’t remember from the time before. I think it’s really helpful to go back and reread the stories over again. I know I always reread my favorite books.”– Melissa, Jones Day Mentor
“When we have the opportunity to give books to our students at the end of the year, it means that we have the opportunity to give the students a whole new world to explore through the books, through the characters that are in the books and a place to really kind of escape and get to use their imagination which is a wonderful feeling.”– Beth, Jones Day Mentor