According to the US Department of Education, 61 percent of low-income families have no age-appropriate children’s books at home.
Book ownership creates a sense of pride, encourages year-round reading, and allows students to share their favorite stories with friends and family. By putting culturally specific books in the hands of teachers and students, WITS guarantees perpetuity of impact and access to literacy resources. These books, selected because they reflect the lived experiences of our students, are provided at no cost to the recipients. Your contribution directly addresses pandemic-related unfinished learning by building libraries of culturally specific books in classrooms and homes.
Donate to WITS and build home and classroom libraries for CPS students.
Become a WITS Corporate Partner
Working in the Schools (WITS) is the largest volunteer corps providing yearlong mentorship to Chicago Public School elementary students. The cornerstone of WITS student mentorship programs is their partnerships with more than forty Chicago corporations which builds community both in the city and in the offices of some of the largest corporations in the Windy City.
WITS programming is unique and impactful in how it is grounded in exposing youth to high-interest texts that reflect their experiences and the consistent practice that it takes to read. Each week mentors from Chicago corporations and surrounding communities sit with students and help them develop foundational literacy skills in a safe and welcoming environment.
Become a WITS Corporate partner and be a part of the holistic solution to rebuilding literacy education as we work with and support our CPS students and educators.
WITS Study Hall is a collaborative learning space for adult learners to actively participate in an anti-racist conversation and enjoy the works of writers of color. We will focus not just on anti-racist discourse but celebrate the range of genres and stories by BIPOC authors. On April 18 we will discuss The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray. Sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian confront their family’s fractured past while searching for a way forward amid challenges including prison time, eating disorders, and long-buried secrets in this fast-paced novel. Register below:
In 30 years wits has brought together over
Read with us
WITS Study Hall is a collaborative learning space for adult learners to actively participate in an anti-racist conversation and enjoy the works of writers of color. We will focus not just on anti-racist discourse but celebrate the range of genres and stories by BIPOC authors.
WITS Study Hall explores one book every two months and is open to all readers. You can sign up to join our virtual meetings or use this framework to start your book club. We’ll provide the book selection, discussion questions, and supplemental resources. Whatever your engagement, we hope you join us in this important reading.
Today only 28% of CPS fourth graders are proficient readers, in 2019 that number was 40%.
In the last three years, 63% of WITS students surpassed the national average for annual reading level growth.
84% of students agreed that participating in WITS made them want to read for fun more often.
100% of our partner teachers were satisfied with student participation in WITS.
WHO WE ARE
WITS is a movement of educators, volunteers and investors coming together to support a better public education for every student.
WHAT WE DO
WITS programs help students develop a love of reading that guides them through the critical transition of learning-to-read to reading-to-learn.
WHy WE DO IT
Reading is one of the most commonly and intensively used skills among all types of jobs across the entire U.S. economy.
Third graders who are proficient in reading are four times more likely to graduate than those without proficient reading skills.
HOW WE DO IT
WITS is 100% privately funded, and program delivery is not reliant on school or city budgets.
WITS communities of teachers and volunteers model for students the life-enhancing benefits of literacy and a passion for learning.