Wentworth Elementary School (CPS) Collaboration

Since 2016, we have been working with Books First! Chicago to create libraries in the 70% of Chicago Public Schools in low-income neighborhoods that have none. Can you imagine growing up without books to read at home or at school?  If you are reading this, you know how important a solid foundation in reading (and writing) is.  For everything. 
Through the connection made through Books First!, St. Josaphat Parish is collaborating with D. S. Wentworth School in Englewood. We are beginning by supporting Primary Literacy Coach Jessica Christopher Taylor in her quest to instill a love of reading in the primary grade kids at Wentworth, and to boost their reading level from the 1st percentile. Key to her plan is to care for the teachers. Wentworth Principal Janelle Thompson fully backs Mrs. Taylor and hired her because of her strong results in similar schools.
Mrs. Taylor can’t do this alone! Our book donations and support will play a vital role.
Since the summer of 2020, we have supported Mrs. Taylor and Wentworth in various ways, through a book drive, book labeling and organization, donations to a virtual happy hour for teachers and support of Donors Choose projects.  In addition:
Kudos to parishioner (and visionary) Jen Velarde and her team have created a space that is both calming and exciting for kids to DEAR. (Drop everything and read.) The concept was to capture how reading takes you on adventures!
Thank you to Vera Wiltrout and the 4th Grade Junior Girl Scout Troop for coordinating the Wentworth Remote workspace project. 50 St. Josaphat School and Religious Education students decorated divider boards for primary grade students who are learning from home, sharing space with family members.
In thanksgiving for their efforts to overcome the difficulties of teaching remotely, our parish sent the primary grade teachers and aids at Wentworth $15 gift cards from Target. Thank you to the Pomerenke Family and Cheryl Lee Van for funding this gesture, and for Judy Lovero, Jean Bystedt and Laura Burstein for coordinating.
50 Wentworth primary students will receive books and blankets for reading over the Christmas holidays through our Giving Tree. 
We have over 20 Book Read Alouds in our growing video library for the Wentworth Scholars.
Do you want to be a weekly buddy for a primary grade student?  Watch this overview video and contact [email protected]
Do you want to be on the Wentworth Collaboration Team? i.e. periodic Zoom calls to determine initiatives we want to engage in. (i.e. Virtual Field Trips, recorded Book Read alouds, bedtime stories, library check out system, etc.) Susan McDermott, Judy Lovero and Jean Bystedt would love some others to brainstorm what we can do! 

About Wentworth School

D. S. Wentworth School
1340 West 71st Street
Chicago, IL 60636
Level 2 in CPS rating system
~400 students
93.6% Black; 5.6% Hispanic
Per the 2019 & 2018 testing reports, 2nd Grade in the 1st percentile for reading
Join the Wentworth Collaboration Team!
Contact Christine Frech at [email protected]