The data is coming in and here is the first look at WITS’ impact for the 2015-16 school year. Read more to see how WITS is making a difference through volunteer-powered literacy enrichment and stay tuned for the complete Evaluation Report.
Twenty five years ago, three Chicago change agents created two programs, now combined into one organization to empower students as readers.
To advance student literacy, WITS empowers teachers through the Rochelle Lee Teacher Award Summer Institute. The Summer Institute is a series of professional development workshops designed to promote and develop teachers’ understanding, knowledge, and implementation of best practices in literacy instruction. This year, 141 Rochelle Lee Teacher Awardees were invited to WITS’ offices at the Literacenter to participate in over 170 hours of professional development offered through the Summer Institute. Teachers are also given access to the Rochelle Lee Library to familiarize themselves with texts to bring into their classrooms.
WITS Summer Early Childhood is back! On Tuesday, July 5th the WITS staff and volunteer team kicked off programs at six Chicago Public School sites – McClellan Elementary, Walsh Elementary, McCutcheon Elementary, Jordan Elementary, and DeDiego Elementary. Together, we are supporting Kindergarten readiness through themed read-alouds, art projects, dramatic play, and writing activities.
To share the joy of summer reading, the Illinois Lottery recently partnered with WITS to sponsor the WITSummerbooks program. Since learning can sometimes “take a back seat” to other activities while school is out of session, the Illinois Lottery hopes to encourage young people to incorporate reading into their summer fun through their support of the WITSummer Books program.
WITS is seeking volunteers for our Early Childhood Summer Program, which helps ensure students enter Kindergarten ready to succeed! In this five week program, volunteers will work with students one on one and in small groups to explore fairy tales through engaging activities intended to inspire curiosity and boost emerging literacy skills. For more information please contact WITS’ Volunteer Coordinator, Annie Kennedy- email@example.com.
June has been full of fun at WITS. Scroll through the pictures below to catch up with all of our recent happenings!
Friday, June 10th at 9:45AM
It is a Friday morning unlike any other.
Nearly 150 third, fourth, and fifth grade students file into the auditorium at Cook Elementary, the hallway buzzing with excited energy. Students greet WITS staff and GCM Grosvenor volunteers with bright smiles, high fives, and even hugs as they pass through the halls. Some ogle the tables stacked high with hundreds of orange tote bags, exclaiming in eager awe, “It’s WITS!”
“I have learned from my time as a WITS volunteer that the need [for WITS] is very essential. Reading is a very integral part of our lives and it must be stirred up and encouraged in children as early as possible.”
– Carmen, WITS Mid-Day Mentoring Volunteer
Ariel, a fifth grade student from Everett Elementary, and her mentor Nick from Robert W. Baird & Company interviewed each other for the June Student & Mentor Spotlight.