All posts by WITS

“Reading cultivates intellectual curiosity”

By: Eric Coleman, Communications Manager

“All of the students I’ve worked with, over the time of WITS, have gotten better and better at reading and more and more confident.”
– Nassar Omar, Workplace Mentoring Volunteer with Cook Elementary School

Volunteers from GCM Grosvenor describe their experience in the Workplace Mentoring program and why they are supporting WITSummer Books.

WITSummer Books support students’ passion for reading by building at-home libraries. Your gift sends each WITS student home with a set of brand-new books to continue developing their literacy skills over the summer. Learn more and donate.

WITS in the News – Univision Chicago

Anualmente, los programas de WITS ofrecen apoyo de lectura y libros a miles de estudiantes en Chicago Public Schools, incluyendo más de 100 estudiantes de Talcott Fine Arts And Museum Academy. ¡Gracias a Univision Chicago por cubrir nuestro trabajo y a Dr. Bahena por ser una campeona para los estudiantes de Talcott y WITS! Mira más aquí.

“There is no happier student than a student with a book in their hands.”

By: Eric Coleman, Communications Manager


Alyse Mauro Mason, IP Litigation Paralegal at McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and Mid-Day Mentoring volunteer at Brown Elementary School describes her experience as a WITS volunteer and why she is supporting the WITSummer Books campaign.

WITSummer Books develop student literacy through encouraging summer reading and providing each WITS student with a set of engaging books. Your gift builds pride through book ownership and celebrates the positive relationships between students and mentors. Please consider giving generously today.

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.

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

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.

Continue reading Partner Spotlight: BMO Harris Bank

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.
Continue reading Student & Mentor Spotlight: Zoria, Eric, and Stephanie