Dear Future WITS Students

Kevin HujarParents

It’s official: WITS programs have ended for the 2018-2019 school year. In the final weeks of May, more than 1,100 WITS students and 1,500 mentors said their goodbyes to each other after building positive one-on-one relationships over the past eight months.

For one hour every week since October, students in the WITS Workplace Mentoring program enjoyed consistent one-on-one interactions with their mentors. Upon arrival at the downtown corporate office, students-mentor pairs follow an orderly routine, beginning with a ten minute warm-up activity, followed by thirty minutes of shared reading. For the remaining twenty minutes, students have the option to continue reading with their mentor or receive homework help.

After an entire school year of WITS, students celebrate their accomplishments at program through culminating activities and reflective conversations with their mentors. It is a time when students recognize their literacy achievements and embrace the memories they made since the beginning of the program year.

For some students, this final day of program is only a temporary goodbye, as they are welcome to join WITS again the following school year. If their mentor is also able to return, the pair is encouraged to continue their relationship in the fall, picking up right where they left off.

During the end-of-year activities, we asked students from Jose de Diego Elementary what they would tell prospective students about why they should sign up for WITS. Veteran WITS students Hajjer, Saul, Charlton, and Alisson shared their favorite moments from the school year and offered some tips to students new to WITS.

Dear Future WITS student,

I hope you like WITS, and I will share with you a few things from my WITS experience. The activities are so fun! Some have to do with drawing or working together. We pick our own books! We also get snacks, go downtown, and we can also see the beautiful view outside. I hope you have a magical time!


Hajjer <3

Dear Future WITS student,

WITS is a lot of fun. The bus ride is a great way to see the city. All of the mentors are fun because they help you read. My mentor is fun because she is funny. It’s a great time to get some homework done and learn how to use punctuation at the end of your sentence. And the best part of WITS is the treats.



Dear Future WITS student,

Hi, I’m Charlton and I have been in WITS for 3 years and might be there next year. The first thing I like about the WITS program is the bus ride. I like the views and I can take a nap before I get here. I like the office space, the tables, and the chairs. I like that my mentor is good at reading and how funny she is. I like my mentor is fun, talkative, and hip.



Dear Future WITS students,

Congratulations on being a members of WITS. There are three things you should know: 1) You are the boss. 2). You can enjoy your time. 3) You can read books whenever you want. Good luck and have fun.




0 volunteers

from 67 corporate, university, and community partners.

Wits provides

0 hours

of professional development in literacy best practices to Rochelle Lee Teacher Awardees.


0 books

to the homes of students and classrooms of Rochelle Lee Teacher Awardees each year.

wits contributes a

$0 million

annual investment in Chicago Public Schools students and teachers.