Mission: Working in the Schools is a 501(c)3 organization that promotes literacy and the love of reading among Chicago''s youth by providing one-on-one tutoring and mentoring.
WITS is a literacy organization that increases reading proficiency of low-income and minority students in Chicago Public Schools. WITS organizes and provides support to dediated business, government, and community volunteers who deliver measurable and consistent, one-on-one tutoring and mentoring services.
Target demographics: low-income, minority elementary students in Chicago Public Schools
Geographic areas served: Greater Chicago
WITS' signature program, Power Lunch, has successfully paired local business professionals with students in the Chicago Public Schools for more than seven years! Designed for corporate, government, or community groups, the program matches employees with students in CPS. Once a week corporate groups are transported from their office to a school where they read with the same child for an entire school year.
WITS trains, supports, transports, and matches each volunteer with a student. Corporate groups typically "adopt" a classroom, where all their participating employees volunteer. For Power Lunch, we usually focus on second or third grade classrooms in an effort to improve their reading skills prior to ISAT testing. With no previous training required, the program is based around the simple act of reading aloud with a student.
Power Lunch breaks down barriers and brings people together from different walks of life. It is quite a unique experience to witness the role reversal of corporate professionals boarding a big yellow school bus to meet their students at school. It's a humbling moment when you see a corporate executive squeeze into a third grader's chair to read one-on-one next to his/her student.
The learning experience that takes place in all Power Lunch classrooms is uniquely reciprocal. While promoting literacy and the love of reading is the ultimate goal, the friendships and expanded perspectives of both the student and volunteer are just as important.