When do the programs take place?
- Most of our programs take place during the school day, typically on Tuesdays through Thursdays. However, WITS does have one Saturday Tutoring program.
I am really busy during the week. Is there a volunteer opportunity on the weekends?
- Yes. If your weekdays are too jam-packed to volunteer, the Saturday Tutoring program might be the best opportunity for you to make a difference. Started by our Associates Board, the Saturday Program is a great way to give back for a couple of hours each week. Volunteers are paired with a student and read one-on-one with them while working on fluency, comprehension and the overall love of reading! See Saturday Tutoring for locations, times, and current volunteer opportunities.
Can I volunteer in any Chicago Public Schools?
- We are currently involved with 27 Chicago Public Schools. A WITS program associate can help you with getting started in a school that best suits your needs.
How long of a commitment do you require?
- We ask for a commitment of one school year.
Why do I have to fill out a background check?
- Chicago Public Schools requires any individual working within a school or its students to pass a background check. While we understand the inconvenience, we ask volunteers to assist us in the process of ensuring the safety of our students.
To download the Background Check form, please click here.
What do I do if my student misbehaves?
- You may want to begin by reminding your student what is appropriate behavior for the program. With your student, come up with a cue that signals to him or her when they are displaying an inappropriate behavior and give them an opportunity to correct their behavior. You may need to remind your student that it is a privilege to be part of the WITS program and to continue being a part of the program he or she will have to properly behave.
What do I do if my student does not want to read?
- Inquire as to what your students interests are and have your WITS associate seek books about these topics.
- It is also helpful to read to your student as it builds listening comprehension skills.
What do I do if my student really can't read?
- Communicate with your WITS associate so that he/she can provide you with supplemental materials for your student based on their level.
Who can be a partner with WITS?
- WITS strongly believes in the power of connecting communities and organizations throughout Chicago. WITS works with local businesses, religious organizations, government and community groups, and other nonprofits in the Chicago area. Contact our office today to see how your organization and WITS may work together to make Chicago an even greater city to call home.
How does a company/organization become a Partner?
- Usually, a company or organization becomes a partner when it is interested in participating in one of the WITS programs. The company allows its employees to volunteer with WITS and in return it makes a small donation to WITS in order to defray the program costs. Some partners with too few employees to have their own programs will pair with other organizations. They may also choose to solely fund a program without having to provide volunteers.
Can I donate stock?
- Yes. Please contact Asheley Smith, Development Director, for more information.
Is WITS a 501(c)3 organization?
- Yes. To view our Letter of 501(c)3 Status/Tax Exemption, click here.
Does WITS accept Matching Gift donations?
- Absolutely. Matching Gifts is the best way to double your donation to WITS. Simply mark the check box indicating that your company will match your gift when making a donation.
Does WITS accept In-Kind donations?
- Yes. WITS is always looking for in-kind donations to use for our many fundraisers and auctions throughout the year. Whether its four seats at a Cubs vs. Sox game, airline tickets, or a gift certificate to a local restaurant, WITS is always grateful for these donations.
- In addition to auction items, WITS welcomes in-kind donations from event vendors such as florists, venues, and caterers as these contributions help us create wonderful fundraisers where the money raised goes directly to our programs and not event expenses! If you are interested in becoming an In-Kind Sponsor for a WITS event, please contact Asheley Smith, Development Director.
- We are always looking for school supplies, books and other items for our students and classrooms. Check out the WITS Wish List for more details.