Category Archives: Board of Directors

An Interview with WITS Board of Directors Educators: Dr. Olimpia Bahena and Principal Sydney Golliday

Principal Golliday with Drake students at CBOE
Principal Golliday with Drake students at CBOE for the last day of the Workplace Mentoring Program.

Listening to the voices of educators and our partners in schools is critically important for WITS’ delivery of high-quality programs that drive students to the love of reading. Dr. Olimpia Bahena, Principal of Talcott Fine Arts and Museum Academy, and Sydney Golliday, Principal of John B. Drake Elementary School, are long-time partners of WITS. They recently expanded their support of WITS by contributing their educational expertise and role as advocates for students as new members of WITS’ Board of Directors. Below, Dr. Bahena and Principal Golliday share their paths and philosophies as educators, as well as how they maximize WITS support for their students.
Continue reading An Interview with WITS Board of Directors Educators: Dr. Olimpia Bahena and Principal Sydney Golliday

Corporate Focus: Segall Bryant & Hamill and Madison Capital

WITS Workplace Mentoring student reads with his mentor.

WITS offers a portfolio of literacy mentorship programs that serve students from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. Each WITS program partners a CPS student with a dedicated mentor who reads with them one-on-one on a weekly basis. Many volunteers go to schools to work with students, but in the Workplace Mentoring program it is reversed and students meet their mentors after school at their workplace. No matter where the program takes place, when WITS is happening there are four key components: committed volunteers, excited students, reading and lots of fun.

On Thursday afternoons, ten fourth grade students from McAuliffe Elementary School are bused to the offices of Segall Bryant & Hamill to read, complete homework, and engage in fun activities with their mentors.

Continue reading Corporate Focus: Segall Bryant & Hamill and Madison Capital

Board Member Spotlight: Carolyn Goldhaber

My first exposure to WITS was over 10 years ago when I was looking for a volunteer opportunity.  A good friend suggested I join the Associates Board (AB) as she knew that I loved reading and kids.  After I joined the AB, I volunteered with the Saturday tutoring program at Walsh Elementary. Shortly after, a job change led me to LaSalle Bank which participated in all of the WITS school day programs. I quickly signed up to volunteer in all of them.  It was the kids that completely drew me in… their enthusiasm and desire to learn was contagious and I haven’t looked back since. 

Continue reading Board Member Spotlight: Carolyn Goldhaber

Board Member Spotlight: John Martin

I initially started on the Board of Directors for Boundless Readers (BR) eight years ago.  I joined BR because the mission was to help CPS teachers teach the love of reading to their students.  We did this by providing leading-edge professional development for the teachers who were awarded the Rochelle Lee Teacher Awards.  Then the students would receive an in-class library, from which they could take out books year-round.  There is probably no better day each year for me than the day that those books are delivered to the classroom!

Continue reading Board Member Spotlight: John Martin