In March 2020, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Center for Illinois' Future selected WITS as their annual project. For eight weeks, a team of six senior-level BCG consultants led WITS through developing a five-year strategic plan. After conducting interviews with WITS staff, partner teachers, board members, volunteers, and peer organizations – the following strategic plan was created.
Through WITS’ layering of student and teacher literacy programs, we are the only nonprofit positioned to make a significant impact on literacy rates in Chicago.
There are currently low literacy rates in Chicago…
Only 28% of 4th grade CPS students were at or above proficiency levels.
…but early intervention can help reverse this trend…
95% of children who have trouble
learning can reach grade level if they receive specialized help early on.
…and prevent long-term academic harms.
Students are 4 times more likely to drop out of high school if not reading at grade level by the end of third grade.
Our Strategic Focus
Our plan consists of three stages of strategic focus to help enhance our commitment to our vision of creating opportunities for every student in Chicago to be literate.
Quality and Impact
Evaluate to drive quality and focus portfolio on highest impact programs.
Re-imagine WITS literacy delivery through creative design.
Scale and Reach
Expand reach to the greatest number of students with the highest need.
How We Will Get There
Narrow portfolio to programs with whole-school impact.
Realign organization, structure, processes, training to maximize staff talent and efficiency.
Work with external evaluation partner to identify impact, adaptations and training to improve outcomes.
Scale multiple programs at single schools.
Identify expansion opportunities with new schools to reach more high-need students.
Invest in Our Work
By investing in WITS, your charitable contribution will have far-reaching impact on Chicago students and teachers. With this new strategic approach, we will deliver stronger programming that has a deeper, more lasting impact on student literacy.