Putting Global
Understanding Into Practice
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Swift School Tutoring & Mentoring

IWA has established a unique relationship with the George B. Swift Specialty School, a K-8th grade school within the Chicago Public School system. Swift serves as a port-of-entry school for low income, immigrant, and refugee students from 55 countries who speak 65 languages and dialects. Of the approximately 700 students in the school, almost 50% are English language learners. These children face many barriers to successful assimilation into their new country and the Chicago community including language, culture, and lack of financial resources.

IWA’s association with Swift School allows our organization to live its goal of “putting global understanding into practice” as it assists the newest members of our community to become successful and productive citizens. The members of IWA, who represent over 60 countries and 40 languages, are uniquely positioned to assist the students of Swift School with the challenges of adaptation and integration.


“Volunteering offers the opportunity to connect with one another.”



Members of IWA are invited to become tutors to a child at Swift and to help him or her to assimilate to a new life in the process. You do not need special training to help a child in kindergarten through 6th grade with reading and reading comprehension. The time you spend in a session can be as little as 30 minutes; you are only asked to make a commitment to come on a consistent weekly schedule. It is understood that travel and other conflicts arise; just let the school know not to expect you if you will be away.

Guest Readers

Swift School also welcomes guest readers to come and share a favorite book with a class. This is an excellent opportunity to become acquainted with the school and get a sense of what it is like to volunteer in the classroom.


IWA members are encouraged to participate in a new mentoring program for 7 th and 8 th graders to prepare them for the transition to high school. The mentoring program will ensure that these students are better equipped for the high school testing and application process, improving their chances for admission to selective Chicago high schools.

If you are interested in any of these vital and rewarding opportunities to connect with the students at Swift School, contact volunteer@iwachicago.org .

Directions to Swift School

Swift School is located at 5900 North Winthrop, Chicago, on the corner of Thorndale and Winthrop, between Sheridan and Broadway. The school is serviced by the 144 and 147 express busses from Michigan Avenue and the 151 Devon bus. Bus 36, which stops one block west, runs all the way through the Loop from Harrison. There is street parking and the staff parking has a few spaces as well.

The Red Line L services the school with the stop at Thorndale.

See photos of volunteering at Swift School. Click here Photos of Volunteering at Swift School.
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