Founders Awardee Spotlight: Ginny & Roger Carlson

WITS is proud to honor 14 individuals who laid the foundation for creating the organization we are today.

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 “People want to help children [and WITS offers that opportunity]. Everybody wants the world to be a better place and that starts with making kids feel important.” Since the founding years, Ginny and Roger Carlson have helped WITS make connections and build community.

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Forefront Feature on Non-Profit Sustainability

We are excited to share Forefront’s blog post on non-profit sustainability highlighting the WITS/Boundless Readers merger.   Included in the feature is an interview with WITS CEO Brenda Palm.  Read the the full post here.

Forefront is a statewide membership association for nonprofits, philanthropy, public agencies, advisers, and allies. Forefront’s feature helps elevates WITS presence as a leader in non-profit innovation.

2015-16 Program Reports: Stronger Together

WITS student reads with his mentor, WITS teacher instructs classroom.

Dear WITS Community,

One year ago, Boundless Readers and its renowned Rochelle Lee Teacher Award (RLTA) program was merged into WITS. The vision for the merge was to bring together teacher professional development and volunteer literacy mentorship to create a comprehensive program model that drives literacy advancement and a love of reading in students through whole school support. As separate organizations, WITS and RLTA programs supported students through advancing literacy skills and developing a positive mindset toward learning. Evaluation for the first year since the merge shows that the WITS and RLTA programs are stronger together. The integrated program model deepens our students’ attitudes toward reading and strengthens our communities of volunteers, teachers and principals.

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Volunteering as a group with WITS

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WITS makes giving back easy. By delivering and matching students with volunteers, WITS provides structure that focuses program time on building relationships and sharing stories. WITS reaches over 800 students in the Mid-Day Mentoring, Workplace Mentoring, and WITS on Campus programs each year. Bea Farmer and Randy Perillo, lead volunteers from BP, shared insights from their experience partnering with WITS to encourage other groups to consider joining the WITS team.

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Becoming a Reader Institute Recap by Julianne Demmel, RLTA Alumni

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I first heard about the Rochelle Lee Teacher Award (RLTA) from a colleague during my first year of teaching. She had a classroom library any veteran teacher would be envious of and she was well-versed on all things literacy. Needless to say, she was a wonderful mentor to have when I was planning for my literacy block. As time progressed, I learned that much of her knowledge surrounding literacy came from the professional development workshops she participated in through RLTA. I decided I must be a part of this program to better myself as an educator, and I applied and was accepted the following year.

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Founders Awardee Spotlight: Terri Lind

WITS is proud to honor 14 individuals who laid the foundation for creating the organization we are today.

Terri Lind, Joanne Alter, Marion Stone, and Lili Ann Zisook.
Terri Lind, Joanne Alter, Marion Stone, and Lili Ann Zisook at a WITS Gala.

Growing up in Chicago, Terri Lind has been a supporter of Chicago Public Schools for many years. While attending a WITS Luncheon, shortly after the organization’s founding, Terri was inspired to get involved with WITS, an organization that felt like a “natural fit.” Through her friendship with Joanne Alter and Marion Stone, Terri was able to become a mentor for students during the beginning years of the WITS program.

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