Category Archives: Newsletter

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!

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School Focus: McClellan Elementary School

2016.Mar_SF2

Since 2010, McClellan Elementary has partnered with WITS.  Located in the heart of Bridgeport, volunteers from the Chicago White Sox take a Wednesday walk to read with McClellan 3rd Graders. Over the 6 years of programming, WITS volunteers have read with over 250 students, providing over one thousand hours of literacy support. Built in 1881, McClellan serves 318 students in pre-kindergarten to 8th grade with one classroom per grade. Spread out over 4 floors, the McClellan building could be the prototype for older CPS schools: warn wood floors, wide black stairs, spacious rooms with built in cabinets, creaky doors and hallways, and banks of windows with sweeping views of the Chicago skyline.

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Corporate Focus: BP America

2016.Feb_BP

WITS hosts two after-school programs with Holden Elementary with BP America. Thirty eager students board the bus and take a field trip downtown every Tuesday to work with passionate and committed BP employees who volunteer as literacy mentors. At BP, students are introduced to a corporate atmosphere and the notion that they too can one day work in a building overlooking the city.  Thirteen third and fourth graders work one on one in WITS Workplace Mentoring  Program (WPM) and 17 fifth and sixth  graders participate in Workplace Mentoring + STEM (WPM+STEM).

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Corporate Focus: Drinker Biddle

2016.Jan_DBR

Since the 2013-2014 school year, WITS has partnered with Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (DBR) for weekly WITS Workplace Mentoring sessions. Whereas the majority of WITS programs send volunteers into schools, the Workplace Mentoring program brings students to corporate offices in the loop to read and complete homework with volunteers, and get a glimpse of what it might be like to work at a financial institution, marketing agency or, in this case, a law firm. The program provides some students with their first experience riding an elevator or viewing the city from thirty seven floors up.

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