WITS Fact Sheet

Mission Statement

WITS engages students in the pleasure and power of reading and writing.

Engaging children in the pleasure and power of reading and writing

#1 arts education organization in Texas - National Endowment for the Arts

Creative Writing Camp is the “best summer program for kids” – Houston Press

Inspiring children through arts education

• Teaches in schools, after-school programs, community centers, parks, museums, hospitals, hospices, and shelters

• Improves students’ writing skills, confidence levels, standardized test scores, and creativity levels, with a decade of results from third-party research

• Offers free programs for schoolchildren with accessible Title 1 fees and multi-year grants from public and private sources

• Reaches 23,000 children each year, primarily from low-income schools and underserved Houston communities

• Serves 1,700 children each summer in Creative Writing Camp, a 20-year partnership with Rice University

Revolutionizing how writing is taught

• Partners with 210 teachers annually– 100% of classroom teachers report that they and their students benefit from WITS

• Provides long-term, innovative professional development and internships for teachers

• Employs 80 writers, helping Houston thrive as a literary center

Advocating for creativity in education 

• Leads a national creativity movement, sharing teaching practices with 25 sister organizations that indirectly impact more than 100,000 children and teachers annually

• Participates in national conversations on writing, reaching 13,000 people at the AWP Conference

Sharing the joy of stories

• Showcases young writers during National Poetry Month and multi-media campaigns on the importance of creativity to more than 1.4 million people

• Organizes public poetry performances through Meta-Four Houston, culminating at the Space City Slam Series, in which youth compete to represent Houston in the Brave New Voices festival, reaching more than 100,000 people

• Celebrates children’s creativity at citywide readings Publishes children’s writing in anthologies and on the WITS blog