Education

Writers In The Schools

Overview

WITS writers teach children in schools, libraries, public parks, hospitals, shelters, boot camps, and community centers. Since our founding, WITS has awakened over 260,000 students to the joy of expressing themselves vividly, honestly, and imaginatively. Research demonstrates WITS helps build student confidence, improve writing skills, and positively affect standardized test scores.

Mission

WITS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that engages children in the pleasure and power of reading and writing. WITS writers work in year-long programs in over 350 classrooms in order to help students develop their creative and analytical thinking skills. With a focus on at-risk, inner city students, WITS also offers workshops in art museums, hospitals, community centers, private schools, and juvenile detention centers.

WITS leads the WITS Alliance, a national initiative that involves mentoring similar writers-in-schools programs, serving as a model for multidisciplinary arts educators, and sharing innovative approaches to teaching. WITS was recently ranked the #1 literary organization in the state by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

History

WITS was founded in 1983 through the University of Houston's highly acclaimed creative writing program. Since 1983 WITS has sent professional poets, fiction writers, and playwrights into classrooms in the Houston area to introduce new approaches to teaching writing in primary and secondary schools.

Program

In school programs, after school programs, professional development, summer creative writing workshops, A Poem of Day Campaign, community partnerships

Impact

This year, WITS will serve 18,000 K-12 students and teachers, in 350 classrooms, in 75 schools throughout the Houston region. Every year the program expands to serve more and more students and their teachers. Most of these students come from under-served neighborhoods and low income families, with 90 percent qualifying for the Title I federal free lunch program.

CEO

Robin Reagler, Ph.D. has invested seventeen years in WITS, and she has worked in every facet of the organization, from teaching to program development to administration. Currently as Executive Director, Robin not only leads WITS in its Houston endeavors; she also heads the WITS Alliance, a national consortium of literary arts education groups. Robin earned an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. Her poems and essays have been published widely in books and journals such as Ploughshares and HOW(ever).

Board

Xavier Peña, J.D., CPA, President
Christina Gonzalez, J.D., Vice President
Michael Pipkin, Treasurer
Stanley Chan, M.D., Secretary
Jane Creighton, Ph.D.
Carliss Chatman, J.D.
Beth Crawford, J.D.
David Francis, J.D.
Beth McFarland Haag
Barry Hammond, J.D.
Danielle Houston, MPH
Garrick Malone
Isabel Cowles Murphy
Lenora Noroski, M.D., MPH
Ann Ziker, Ph.D.

Countries 

United States

States 

Texas

Contact 

1523 W MAIN ST
HOUSTON, TX 77006-4709
Phone: (713) 523-3877
www.witshouston.org
EIN: 76-0338549


Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. This gift will engage one child in the pleasure and power of reading and writing for the whole schoo

Fuel an education

Give a child WITS

Writers In The Schools

This gift will engage one child in the pleasure and power of reading and writing for the whole school year. Your support will provide a required match to send a professional poet, novelist, essayist, or playwright into a low-income school or underserved community center to help a child develop strong writing, thinking, and speaking skills to prepare them for a challenging world.

Regular price $50.00

Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. This gift will enable three students to take a field trip to a cultural venue where they will use ar

Inspire minds

Cultural field trips

Writers In The Schools

This gift will enable three students to take a field trip to a cultural venue where they will use art or nature to inspire and enhance their writing. Your support will provide a required match for a field trip as part of a full-year program that engages children in the pleasure and power of reading and writing. Students will learn through direct experience about the...

Regular price $30.00

Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. This gift will provide one scholarship for a low-income child. The Summer Creative Writing Workshops

Nuture imagination

Scholarship for summer

Writers In The Schools

This gift will provide one scholarship for a low-income child. The Summer Creative Writing Workshops offer a supportive environment where children engage in writing stories, poetry, essays, and plays, as well as simply reading for pleasure. Through these activities even the most hesitant child discovers the joy in writing, the intrigue of language, and the confidence of authorship. Students will work with teachers and writers,...

Regular price $500.00

Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. This gift will provide student anthologies to an entire classroom. Students will gain confidence see

Print an anthology

Anthology for each kid

Writers In The Schools

This gift will provide student anthologies to an entire classroom. Students will gain confidence seeing their poems and essays in a published body of work.

Regular price $150.00

Give a gift that matters: a donation in your friend's name. This gift will provide a required match for classroom anthologies for two students. WITS anthologies

Publish writing

2 Student Anthologies

Writers In The Schools

This gift will provide a required match for classroom anthologies for two students. WITS anthologies showcase the original stories and poems of children written over during a yearlong program that develops strong writing, thinking, and speaking skills to prepare children for a challenging world.

Regular price $15.00