On June 25th, WITS culminated the 2017-18 school year at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel by hosting it’s 2018 Annual Meeting, A City of Empowered Readers: WITS’ Vision for 2020. WITS leadership reported out on the vision and impact of the organization and welcomed 175 new Rochelle Lee Teacher Awardees. Highlighting the evening was an engaging conversation between Brenda Langstraat and Dr. Jane Fleming of the Chicago Public Schools Department of Literacy. Dr. Fleming, and the new leadership at CPS, are committed both to early literacy and the work of WITS. At the event, LaTanya McDade, Chief Education Officer at CPS, said of the WITS partnership that it “has transformed the lives of students and volunteers.” WITS is proud to partner with more than 80 CPS elementary schools and to continue advancing student literacy through volunteer-powered mentorship and teacher professional development.
By leveraging partnerships throughout the city, WITS provided many surprises and fun activities for our students this past month. Through the energy of our volunteers and the trust built by serving as mentors this school year, WITS was able to bring students out of their schools to explore libraries, gardens, and corporate offices. These celebrations culminate with each WITS student being given five brand new WITSummer Books to add to their at-home libraries. Read ahead to learn more about why we believe that summer reading is important, the partnerships that allow us to have programming, and what has been happening this past month at WITS!