Read with CPS 3rd Graders in Albany Park at Hibbard Elementary!

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Working In The Schools (WITS)

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Working in the Schools (WITS) creates positive learning communities through a portfolio of volunteer literacy mentor programs and teacher professional development; a comprehensive design to inspire students' passion for reading.

The WITS Mid-Day Mentoring program focuses on third grade literacy. At this point, students make the cognitive transition from learning-to-read to reading-to-learn. Volunteers travel to the school and are paired with the same third grade student for an entire school year. Volunteer/student pairs spend time reading aloud and building comprehension skills through conversation.

The WITS Mid-Day Mentoring program at Hibbard Elementary runs from 11:25am-12:10pm on Tuesdays beginning October 2019.

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About Working In The Schools (WITS)


641 W. Lake St., Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60661, US

Mission Statement

Working in the Schools (WITS) sets students on a trajectory for success by building critical literacy skills and developing positive self-identity through teacher-led literacy professional development and volunteer-powered mentorship programs.


In 1991, Joanne Alter and Marion Stone befriended a teacher at Byrd Academy who expressed her students' need for 1:1 reading time with caring adults to help get them up to grade level reading. As students were transformed into empowered readers, Joanne and Marion were inspired to found Working in the Schools (WITS), with the vision of activating volunteers as literacy mentors for students throughout Chicago.

Simultaneously, just a few blocks north at Oscar Mayer Elementary, librarian Rochelle Lee was inspiring generations of students and parents through her love of reading. In honor of her impact, the Rochelle Lee Teacher Award (RLTA) was created to provide teachers with the training and resources needed to inspire a love of reading in students.

In 2015, these programs merged under the WITS umbrella to create a holistic approach to literacy support in classrooms and schools.


Tue Oct 08, 2019 - Fri May 29, 2020
11:25 AM - 12:10 PM  


3244 W. Ainslie St.Chicago, IL 60625



  • Mentoring
  • Literacy / Reading


  • People 55+


  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training

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