What it means to be an awardee

Rochelle Lee Teacher Awardees advance students in literacy and a love of reading by providing classroom libraries, daily read alouds, and consistent independent reading time. Teachers may apply to the Rochelle Lee Teacher Award as an Individual Awardee or as a Study Group member. Applications open early November, close late February, and awardees are announced in late April of each year. 

Application faqs


Learning communities

Rochelle Lee Teacher Award Study Groups are school-based professional learning communities. Study groups develop a goal to guide their learning throughout the school year, and meet monthly to discuss instruction and push their practice to reach their goal. Study Groups allow teachers to have a school-wide impact on student literacy instruction. Applications open early November, close late February, and study group awardees are announced in late April of each year. 

Application faqs

The Rochelle Lee Teacher Award Alumni Network consists of over
0 teachers
committed to developing lifelong readers in the classroom.


Tailored to your needs

WITS Summer Institute is one of the many benefits of the RLTA program. Over the summer, more than 100 Chicago Public Schools teachers come together to improve their literacy instructional practices at Rochelle Lee Teacher Award Summer Institute. Awardees receive access to over 200 hours of teacher-led professional development, and are given the opportunity to tailor their experience to gain the resources and techniques that are most applicable to the needs of their classrooms and students.

Summer Institute Highlights

  • The Becoming Readers Institute – a two-day workshop that explores one’s self as a reader through in-depth discussions and activities around a pre-selected novel
  • Elective workshops that cover topics such as guided reading, using literature to teach math, incorporating technology to teach literacy, engaging middle school boys in writing workshop, and more
summer institute faqs


WITS Library Materials

  • The Rochelle Lee Review Library has over 8,000 children’s books and all current and former awardees are welcome to browse.
  • Professional texts available to use in the WITS library.
  • Booksource’s Classroom Organizer - a free, online tool to catalog your classroom library books, create class check-out rosters, manage usage reports, and more.

Lending Library

  • The WITS Lending Library contains more than 400 sets of children and young adult books. Titles are available in whole class sets and smaller group sets. Current and former WITS educators may borrow books from our lending library.
  • View the Rochelle Lee Lending Library catalog and availability online via LibraryThing.
  • WITS Lending Library/LibraryThing reference guide.
  • Contact Daphne Robinson in advance to borrow books from the lending library for your students. This will ensure that the desired books are available, and that a specific time can be scheduled to pick up the books.


Remaining Readers Book Club (RRBC) is a monthly book discussion group where Rochelle Lee Teacher Awardees read adult literature and discuss it with peers. Through RRBC, teachers will read books that invite investigation, set reading goals, meet new teacher-friends, continuing to stay engage with their reading-life while earning CPDUs. The Remaining Readers Book Club is for Rochelle Lee Teacher Awardees and Alumni ONLY.

register for remaining readers book clubThese workshops are for RTLA Awardees and Alumni only. Contact Daphne Robinson ( for the page password.