BEYOND BASICS

Rating: 4.9 stars   60 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Education

Location: 18000 West Nine Mile Road, Suite 515 Southfield MI 48075 USA

Mission: Beyond Basics is a holistic program that brings targeted reading, writing, art, expanding horizons, outreach and mentoring programs to students in K-12th grades. Through intensive one-on-one reading tutoring, by trained staff, we get children reading at grade level in just 6 weeks!
Target demographics: Students develop fundamental education skills.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 7,451 students (including students in Brazil, India, Philippines and South Africa)
Geographic areas served: Detroit public schools
Programs: our “Read to Rise” reading program. We provide one-on-one, intensive, on-site tutoring services to elementary, middle and high school students (grades pre-K-12, depending on the school) during regular school hours. Our students work with a trained tutor for one hour sessions on a regular schedule promoting trust. This gives students the opportunity to focus on learning, without the distractions of overcrowded classrooms or disruptive home environments. The program also involves a large number of volunteer mentors or Reading Buddies, who assist the tutors by reading to or with the children giving students even more time to hone their reading skills. We have found that when the children come to Beyond Basics, they know they are there to learn, and they respond by giving their best efforts. In addition to tutoring, we provide a variety of experiences – art, writing, field trips, cultural and professional programs – to help students develop a multitude of tools for future success.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I was introduced to Beyond Basics through my department at Chrysler. We are encouraged to participate in charity opportunities and when I heard about Beyond Basics I thought it would be very rewarding to help children learn to read. I worked at the library all through high school and college and knew how much the children loved the reading programs. What makes Beyond Basics special is their technique of Pressure Release that works amazingly well and encourages rather than discourages the children. All volunteers are first trained on this technique, which only takes a couple hours, before they start working with the kids. I have been doing this for a year now and have been amazed at how quickly this technique works to bring children up to their grade level in reading.

I also have to encourage everyone to reach out and feel how personally rewarding it is to know that after you have worked with a child just a couple of times they greet you everyweek with a big smile and hug. Even those kids that are tagged as trouble makers in the classroom, you get them one on one and they are truely appreciatvie of your time and help. I have not had one bad experience in the past year but rather a total since of fulfillment as a person working with Beyond Basics.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

grow faster to make it into more schools.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Beyond Basics is a great program that all schools should participate in. The staff is great! They are very supportive of the students that participate in the program. The students are excited with the activities that are provided, especially the writing center. They love their published books with their own story inside along with their name. That one activity is a memorable experience and a great keepsake! Thank You Beyond Basics for supporting students!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make sure that the program is inside all schools.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This company truly cares about the academic success of children. My students absolutely love the program, services, and volunteers. The publishing center is one of my favorite activities. The center provide students the opportunity to publish their own stories, and take ownership for their writings. In the past my students would take turns reading their stories. We often used their stories to further develop their writing and comprehension skills. In addition, some of my students have made significant gains with their fluency and writing skills. To conclude, increasing student development is vital in education. As educators we strive to meet the needs of all students, and with the support of Beyond Basics I feel we continue to move children forward.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I started teaching in a school with Beyond Basics housed there last year. They worked with the students amazingly. It didn't matter if they were general education students or special education students, they progressed. The students would run up to me, so proud, and show me books they wrote or paintings they created. I could not believe that the child had this in them. Not only did Beyond Basics teach them, they brought up the confidence each student needed. They took pictures of the children and what each created and hung them on the walls over the whole school. The students would carry books around and read them in the classroom. I would ask them where they got the books from. They would always respond, "Beyond Basics" looking so proud. Beyond Basics should be in every school. I would walk in their rooms and I saw something where I felt so happy inside. They would be sitting one-on-one with the student assisting them learning how to read. The children found Beyond Basics as a place where they felt safe and nurtured in their room. Beyond Basics in the school is more than we can appreciate.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have them working in every school in the U.S.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I had the opportunity to visit Beyond Basic's headquarters and speak about potential volunteering opportunities, as well as collaborating the corporation I work for with Beyond Basics. Their passion for education was enough to win me over and I've been an advocate for Beyond Basics ever since.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I've seen so much growth and outreach in the five years I've known Beyond Basics and its employees. The students and their families truly have life-changing experiences thanks to Beyond Basics. I've heard countless testimonies of adults being able to learn how to read their bible, high school students transitioning from high school at-risk to their college's Dean's List, and so much more. I'm constantly inspired by the people who work at Beyond Basics, who put the kids first and are always trying to expand their program's outreach.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hire more people! They have huge visions and they could use even more volunteers, funds, and employees to make it happen.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I had an opportunity to visit two schools that are part of Beyond Basics program, Burton and Thurkle. The delight in the children's eyes when the volunteers are working with them was enough to sell me on the benefit this program offers to children in the lowest performing schools in Detroit. Teachers in the schools are so thankful to have Beyond Basics in their schools and the students are eager to learn and attend the teaching programs. Students are proud of their accomplishments! Beyond Basics has given them skills to be successful in all areas of their lives.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Put this program in all schools where children are not performing at level they are able to.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered at Beyond Basics because a friend worked for them and said they needed someone to help them with their Art With The Masters program. After the first day of volunteering I wanted to do more! So in addition to helping with art I decided to be a Reading Buddy. Helping a student improve their reading ability was a life-altering experience! I still remember the first child I worked with and will always remember how amazing it felt when she lit up after realizing she was able to read words she was not able to read at the beginning of our session. In 30 minutes, she improved. That said a lot to me. After volunteering for about a school year, I decided to come on and become a Reading Tutor. I have seen drastic improvements in students reading abilities and their teachers have commented on how much better they are doing in class. They come in hesitant to read and by end of our time together, the students are more confident in themselves and are even interested in reading to others. Beyond Basics' approach to education is effective! Beyond Basics engages students and gives them numerous opportunities to hone skills they will need to advance in life and make a difference in their families and communities. Our main focus is literacy, but what makes the Beyond Basics method different is that it does not only encourage academic achievement, it fosters self-discovery, creative self-expression, curiosity, self-respect and responsibility. Whatever Beyond Basics is doing, the students are always BEGGING to be a part of it because they always walk away learning something new. I recommend Beyond Basics to anyone who is looking to make a direct impact on the future of the city of Detroit.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I was very happy to help out the children at Thirkell ElementarySchool in Detroit, the kids are happy to see us and eager to learn when we get there.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Beyond Basics is the best charitable organization tha I have ever been involved with. The organization really does make a difference to undreprivedged, inner city children. Many of Detroit's inner city kids have no chance to improve their lives until the learn how to read. Beyond Basics helps kids improve their reading skills so that they can become productive members of society. I am proud to be involved with such a progressive and productive charity.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?