Reading with Students in Chicago: A WITS Program Year in Photos

Jackson MayPrograms, Uncategorized

Time flies when you’re reading with students in Chicago! It’s hard to believe that this school year has come to a close. As we wrap up the 2023-2024 program year, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has supported us along the way: teachers, school coordinators, corporate coordinators, our board of directors and associates board, and more importantly, our amazing mentors.

WITS is the largest activator of literacy enrichment and corporate engagement programming in the Chicago Public School district. We believe that literacy is the foundation on which all other learning develops. Our mission is to empower Chicago elementary students to discover themselves through reading while developing foundational literacy skills. We do this by creating community through literacy-based mentorshipenabling teachers to build diverse classroom libraries, and promoting book ownership at home.

Below you will find photos recapping the highlights of the school year from our Kindergarten, Mid-Day, and Workplace mentoring programs.

WITS Kindergarten Mentoring

Started in 2005, WITS Kindergarten (WITSK) serves Chicago Public Schools kindergartners. Students spend fifteen-twenty minutes once a week reading aloud one-on-one with the same mentor, practicing skills, and enjoying stories. WITSK helps students build book and print awareness as well as letter and sound recognition skills. WITSK encourages students to love reading.

WITS Mid-Day Mentoring

Started in 2005, Mid-Day Mentoring is a year-long literacy mentorship program for second and fourth grade Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students. Once a week, mentors are transported from their workplaces to a neighborhood school where they meet with their student each week for forty-five minutes, enjoying shared reading, conversation, and relationship building activities.

WITS Workplace Mentoring

Started in 1999, Workplace Mentoring is a year-long literacy mentorship program for fourth – eighth grade Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students. Once a week after school, students are transported to a corporate office to meet one-on-one with their mentor for shared reading and homework support.


At WITS program, Program Coordinators create WITS newsletters throughout the school year for students and mentors to take home, highlighting different program activities, events, and student-mentor pairs. Newsletters are a great way to keep parents in the loop on what’s happening at WITS. You can view this years’ newsletters below.

Interested in supporting or getting involved with WITS? Click here to find out everything you need to know about our programs and mission.