Welcome to Our Independent Community School for Our Children!

Greetings and Welcome!

We, at Watoto Wetu Academy (WWA), thank you for visiting our page. We envision you getting a strong understanding of our school for OUR CHILDREN.  If you are interested in our school please feel free to contact us at (773) 952-4127 or  watotowetuacademy@gmail.com.  We are happy to answer any questions you have and schedule an appointment for you and your child(ren) to come visit us.

Our Mission

Watoto Wetu Academy aligns content and instruction to create a wholistic system of learning that facilitates self-actualization for Black children.  We promote self-actualization of Black children to prepare them for rulership in a Western Dominated world. We have an environment of open communication, uplifting our Afrikan people and creating a self-sustainable Community.  Our ancestors rejoice!


What does Watoto Wetu mean?

Watoto (wa-toe-toe) Wetu (weh-too) translates to Our Children in the Swahili language, one of the 3000 languages spoken on the continent of Africa.

What curriculum do we use?

An African-centered curriculum is used to allow each child to receive a custom learning style. This is what assists the child in learning beyond the Illinois State Learning Standards and Common Core State Standards. Our standards reveal the child’s natural genius and talents.  We are also integrating the instructional approach and philosophies of Amos N. Wilson and Jawanza Kunjufu which bring out the full-potential of the Black child.  We take at least one field trip per month.

What are the Academy’s hours of operation?

The school is open Monday through Friday from 7:30AM to 6:00PM.  WWA is a full-time learning institution.  Children 2 and under are eligible for a 1/2 day option, Monday through Friday from 7:30AM to 1:00PM.  All students must arrive to school by 8:30AM.  Parents can pick up their children between 4:00PM and 6:00PM.  Arrival and pick-up times are strictly enforced.

What does the school day look like?

7:30AM: Yoga, Meditation & Free Play. 8:30AM: Morning Routine – Affirmations & School Song. 9:00AM: Academic Instruction. 12:00PM: Lunch. 12:45PM: Free Time/Play. 1:30PM: Nap Time/Independent Study. 3:15PM: Snack. 4:00PM: Afternoon Activity (Art, Music, Dance, Exercise, Constructive Play, Etc.). Tuesdays & Thursday Afternoons include Martial Arts class (additional fee).

The last Friday of every month school is closed to students for staff development and meetings.

What is the role of Our Parents?

Every child must be represented by at least one parent (wazazi means parent in the Swahili language) or legal guardian on our school’s parent board (meetings are quarterly).  Every parent has a responsibility of the school’s growth, management and sustainability.  Parents are asked to contribute beyond paying tuition (i.e. buying snacks, purchasing paper towels, teaching a language, managing school documents or marketing the school).  Every parent agrees to be an integral part of their child’s school environment and academic success.

Who are the WWA Staff Members?

Nzinga Speller, Director/Lead Instructor

Deirdre Jones, Assistant

Melanie Julion, Afternoon Activities Coordinator

Stephanie McRoberts, Teacher’s Assistant

What are the admission requirements and process?

To be eligible for admission into WWA a child must be potty-trained and no older than 10 years old.  After visiting the Academy and you express interest in continuing the admission process, we will schedule an interview with the entire family.  You will be notified by email after your interview whether or not your child is accepted into the school. There is a non-refundable registration fee of $150.

What is WWA’s tuition?

Tuition at Watoto Wetu Academy is $500 per month per child.  Tuition is due on the 1st of every month. Martial Arts class is an additional $25 per month and is optional.

Where is our school located?

We are located in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood.

Do we accept donations?

Yes, we do!  We are not a 501(c)3.  You will not be able to make a tax deductible donation yet.  In the meantime, we accept books, furniture, school supplies, teacher supplies and monetary donations.  You will receive a thank you letter and your name will be posted on Our Community wall.


Telephone: (773) 952-4127

E-Mail: watotowetuacademy@gmail.com

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