Educational Institutions

Working in the Schools

  • Chicago, IL
  • http://www.witschicago.org

Mission Statement

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.

Main Programs

  1. Mid-day Mentoring
  2. Early Childhood
  3. Workplace Mentoring
  4. Classroom Assistants
  5. Early Childhod
Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

Serving Chicago, Illinois.

ruling year

1993

Executive Director

Self-reported

Ms. Brenda Palm

Keywords

Self-reported

literacy, education, tutor, mentor, children, schools, school, volunteer, chicago, Working in the Schools, wits, elementary education, low income, minority, youth, one-on-one, reading, corporate volunteers, corporate partners, foundations, early childhood, kindergarten, elementary, community building,

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Also Known As

WITS

EIN

36-3891846

 Number

2383031966

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

Adult, Child Matching Programs (O30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Studies show that reading out loud with a child has a lasting impact on his/her reading-related skills and vocabulary. Each school year, WITS programs continue to yield outstanding results. Our students continue to demonstrate improved skills in reading comprehension, vocabulary, critical thinking and most importantly, their attitudes and motivations toward readin compared to their nonparticipating peers.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Mid-day Mentoring

This mid-day literacy and
mentoring program pairs elementary school students with business volunteers for
weekly, one-on-one reading sessions. 
Corporate employees are bused to the schools during their work day to
participate in the program.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 2

Early Childhood

Early Childhood is our newest program.  ECH is a literacy program in which your employees volunteer in elementary classrooms with Pre-K and kindergarten students.  During their visit, your employees participate in reading aloud with a student in a one-on-one setting.  Once a week (or every other week if volunteers alternate), your employees travel on a WITS bus to a nearby elementary school where they are welcomed by the school coordinator and escorted to a classroom to read with their students.  The time of day can be flexible for this program, but it usually works best in the late morning.  Corporations and their employees commit to ECH for one school year and are encouraged to continue year after year.

Category

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 3

Workplace Mentoring

Workplace Mentoring is an after-school tutoring and mentoring program that takes place at your office.  4th-6th graders are matched one-to-one with your employees, who work with them on reading comprehension, fluency, writing skills and homework.  Once a week (or every other week if volunteers alternate), elementary schools students travel to your offices where they are welcomed by a WITS program coordinator.  The students meet their volunteers in a conference room or another designated area for the tutoring session.  Corporations and their employers commit to the WPM for one school year and are encouraged to continue year after year.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 4

Classroom Assistants

This program is focused on
training and placing individual volunteers in elementary classrooms as a
teacher’s aide for the school year to work with struggling students, help with
lessons, and generally improve the 1 to 25 ratio of teachers to students.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Program 5

Early Childhod

Early Childhood matches
volunteers with students for two-hour, one-on-one reading sessions with
pre-school and kindergarten students. 
The program focuses on introducing children to the fundamental skills
AND the joys of reading by allowing each child to be actively involved in
telling the story.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Children Only (5 - 14 years)

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

Illinois

Serving Chicago, Illinois.

Social Media

Blog

Videos

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

WORKING IN THE SCHOOLS INC
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Working in the Schools

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Executive Director

Ms. Brenda Palm

BIO

Brenda Palm serves as Executive Director at Working in the Schools (WITS). Brenda joined WITS after serving as Executive Director of Parkways Foundation for more than seven years and as a consultant to Chicago Allies for Youth Success and the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance. Brenda launched her career as a nonprofit development professional and executive with the Chicago Humanities Festival. She has a BA from Wheaton College (Illinois) and a MA in English specializing in fiction writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Brenda's life-long love of reading and training in literary criticism drives her passion for furthering the impact of WITS.

Brenda joins the WITS team to work alongside the board and staff to develop and implement a strategic plan toward significant organizational growth. During her tenure at Parkways Foundation, the budget grew from $400,000 to more than $5 million through an integrated approach to development including building strategic partnerships and launching new city-wide program initiatives with corporate support.

Brenda and husband Eric live in the Wicker Park neighborhood where they also own a restaurant called Gunner's. In addition to being small business owners, they are active in members of the community. Brenda also serves as Vice President of the Board of The Goulden Touch, a charity launched by Bear's kicker Robbie Gould.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Phil Hildebrant

Segall, Bryant & Hamill

Term: July 2011 - June 2014

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?