To me, the WITS mission is about elevating literacy and self-confidence in students around Chicago. As a volunteer, board member, and supporter of WITS for fifteen years, I’ve been fortunate to see first-hand how WITS has evolved and grown to be the largest volunteer group engaging both students and teachers in Chicago and truly making a difference. When I think about WITS and the memories that stand out most, it’s the connections that are created between volunteers and students throughout the school year.
Every week, the faces of not just the students, but the mentors, myself included, light up when seeing each other. The excitement over learning a new vocabulary word, finding a new genre of books, or simply sharing stories about their day is unmatched. Kids and teachers right now are facing unprecedented challenges. The services that WITS provides, whether it be in person or virtual, are even more crucial to ensuring that students are advancing their literacy skills and developing a love of reading. The attention and one-on-one support the kids receive is so important to their journey from learning to read to truly reading to learn.