School Programs

 

 

    

 

Writers in the Schools (WITS) is serious about the business of teaching writing. Since 1983, WITS has supported area schools in their efforts to engage students in the joy and power of reading and writing. External evaluations of the program report that WITS not only helps students enjoy writing and improve their communication skills, but it also has a positive effect on their standardized test scores.

According to University of St. Thomas Professor Carl Scott, "WITS offers students a high-quality program that is a model nationally and internationally. For more than a decade, your experience, diversity, proficiency, and depth in teaching have resulted in better writing skills, higher writing self-efficacy, and higher standardized test scores for children in our community." 

WITS in-school programs focus on the writing process and address key objectives in language arts, including original voice, inventive word choice, sentence fluency, and clear organization. WITS long-term programs allow students to develop relationships with professional writers while receiving intensive instruction and time to practice and master new techniques. Through innovative approaches, WITS writers build skills in reading and analysis, expose students to multi-cultural literature, and emphasize the importance of revision.

 

Through WITS In-School Program students:

• Participate in long-term creative writing workshops taught by professional writers
• Practice all phases of the writing process—brainstorming, drafting, editing, revising, and publishing their work
• Take a field trip to a museum or other cultural venue
• Learn basic literary skills and develop an enthusiasm for literature and the arts, translating into improved grades and higher self-esteem
• Publish their writing in an anthology
• Celebrate their success in public events.


What does your school get with WITS?

A professional poet, fiction writer, or playwright will lead weekly creative writing workshops for a full year
A published anthology for each student, as well as performances, readings and other events
A field trip to a museum or other cultural venue for writing tours 
Visual or performing artists join the writer to lead classes that emphasize the connection between writing and art
Opportunities for students involved in the program to read at the city-wide Young Writers Reading held each May.


WITS is aligned with the state's objectives!

Although WITS is not a test-prep program, WITS teaching supports key areas of the new STAAR test, including original voice, inventive word choice, and clear organization. Students also become familiar with different genres and learn to identify and use literary conventions. Through continued practice, students develop greater focus, coherence, and depth of thought in their writing. Revision techniques help students acquire critical and analytical thinking skills. As students begin to take pride in their work, they are motivated to learn how to use punctuation and grammar more effectively.

For more details on how the WITS program improves student writing skills, increases standardized test scores, enhances self-efficacy, and improves creativity, see WITS Impact.

What does it cost?
Please contact Long Chu by phone at 713-523-3877 or by e-mail for pricing information.

How do schools pay for the WITS Program?
Many schools pay for WITS through Title 1 funding. Other schools tap resources such as PTOs, business and community partners, or private foundations.

 

WITS Schools:




Attucks Middle School Austin High School Awty International School
AC Jones High School Bellaire High School Black Middle School
Briargrove Elementary School Brookline Elementary School Burbank Elementary School
Carver High School Clifton Middle School College Preparatory Academy
Condit Elementary School Cullen Middle School Duchesne Academy
Eastwood Academy High School  Field Elementary School Garden Oaks Elementary School
Gross Elementary School Hartsfield Elementary School Helms Elementary School
Herod Elementary School Kelso Elementary School KIPP Academy Middle School
Lanier Middle School Las Americas Middle School Lockhart Elementary School
Looscan Elementary School Lyons Elementary School Madison High School
Meadow Wood Elementary School Moreno Elementary School Moreno Middle School
Neff Elementary School Poe Elementary School Presbyterian School of Houston
Red Elementary School Rizzuto Elementary School Saint Anne Catholic School
Saint Michael Catholic School Sharpstown International School T. H. Rogers School
The Emery Weiner School The Regis School The Rhodes School
Thompson Elementary School Tipps Elementary School Travis Elementary School
Wharton Elementary School Williams Middle School Wilson Montessori School
Woodson Elementary School YES School Prep Northside YES School Prep Southeast
YES School Prep Southwest Young Women's Preparatory Academy