WITS is the largest literacy nonprofit providing mentorship to students and professional development to teachers in Chicago public elementary schools. Each year, our combined volunteer and teacher professional development investments in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) are valued at $3.4 million. WITS sets students on a trajectory for success by building critical literacy skills and developing positive self-identity through teacher led professional development and volunteer powered mentorship programs. WITS engages 200 teachers and more than 70 corporate and community partners to activate 1,500 volunteers who drive students towards reading proficiency in 80 public elementary schools annually.
Who You Are
You are passionate about supporting Chicago’s young people and connecting people. You want to share your love of reading and learning with the WITS community. You will be part of a thoughtful, dynamic team that values collaboration and reflection. You can make WITS programs welcoming and engaging spaces for all stakeholders, from kindergartners to retirees. You stay cool under pressure and are confident in your decisions.
What You Will Do
Program Coordinators promote students’ reading level growth and positive attitudes towards reading by implementing program activities that foster strong adult/student relationships and influence foundational literacy skills. Program Coordinators help foster positive mentoring relationships between students and mentors and provide ongoing support for those partnerships throughout the school year. Program Coordinators organize several recurring mentorship programs during the school year, both in elementary schools and at corporate offices. Program Coordinators are responsible for communicating with volunteers and school partners, and coaching student/volunteer pairs on site. Program Coordinators ensure high quality services are provided to Chicago Public Schools students (K-8) and volunteers and corporate/community partners. Program coordinators also plan the Early Childhood Summer Program and facilitate the program at one school during the summer months.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
Act as liaison between school and program partners
Communicate regularly with volunteers, including weekly email reminders
Coordinate and supervise the program logistics for volunteers (groups and individuals)
Train volunteers before program start and pair students and volunteers
Gather program supplies and update materials to ensure books, space, snack, and activities stay relevant to each program’s needs
Observe student and volunteer interactions and offer coaching to volunteers
Maintain accurate attendance and constituent information in WITS’ database (Salesforce)
Other duties as assigned
Qualifications, Skills and Attributes:
Ability to take direction and synthesize information from multiple individuals
A sense of humor and the desire to adapt and grow
A passion to serve our students, volunteers, and teachers by providing unparalleled customer service and resources
A passion for the WITS mission
Experience working with elementary and middle grade students
Comfortable traveling throughout the city on a weekly basis
Ability to manage large groups of students and volunteers
Strong orientation to direct service
Discerning communicator with excellent writing, public speaking, and interpersonal skills
Ability to work occasional evenings and up to 18 Saturdays per school year
Bilingual/biliterate (Spanish) preferred
Access to a car is desirable
Program coordinators spend much of their time in elementary schools, where noise levels can be moderate to loud
Must be able to bend, squat, and climb stairs daily
Must be able to lift 30 lbs.
Additional Salary Information: The position is full-time M – F with occasional nights and weekends. WITS has excellent employee benefits including health and disability insurance, generous PTO and a 403-B retirement plan with up to 3% employer contribution. WITS believes in investing in staff growth and learning and provides ongoing professional development.