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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Better Basics, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Education, Literacy, Parent & Teacher Groups, Remedial Reading & Encouragement, Youth Development

Mission: Better Basics, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation whose mission is to advance literacy by providing reading intervention and enrichment in high-need schools.

Target demographics: children become better readers

Geographic areas served: Alabama

Programs: Reading Intervention, MORE (Motivators of Reading Enrichment, Ready 2 Read/Wise Words, Schoolwide Enrichment, Birmingham Reads, Summer Camp, and 21st Century HOPE Community Learning Centers.

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Better Basics is a wonderful organization from School wide programs to Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. They are doing so much for our children and communities.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with BB in the Spring of 2010 for Birmingham Reads and have been a school captain every year since 2011. I also volunteered for the Ready 2 Read program. I love reading and believe that reading well is key to success in anything in life. I really appreciate that we have an organization in Birmingham that is going into the schools to help shore up a critical foundation in the students education. I have seen that the students respond very well to BBs programs. My second grade class looked forward to reading day almost as much as I did.

I would love to see BB continue and grow. They are providing a much needed service to this community.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Better Basics has been instrumental in helping children discover the love of reading! Great organization that is committed to their mission.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

September will be my 8th year volunteering with Better Basics. Thank the Lord for Better Basics. I volunteer at two inner-city schools reading to 2nd graders and do two MORE book rewards program. All of the staff is so appreciative and the kids are so appreciative. One day, I was in the hall of one poorer school, and some yelled out, "Hey, MORE Lady". Better Basics gives books prizes for students to start a home library. I definitely feel I am making a difference in the Birmingham City Schools.
During the summer, I clean book libraries.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was has been my pleasure to volunteer with Better Basics through their MORE Reading Program. I have seen first hand the amazing impact this organization makes in the lives of the children we serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is a pleasure to volunteer with Better Basics every year. By providing books and other incentives to children, Better Basics instills a love of reading and ensures children are equipped with the resources necessary to be successful in school.

Laura134

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Better Basics for 12 years. I have witnessed this organization help countless children by providing enriching educational experiences. This organization provides hope for children and families. I love Better Basics!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a graduate student at UAB and just completed my internship with Better Basics last week. I began working with them at the beginning of June this year, and it has truly been a privilege to work with this wonderful organization. My time with the Better Basics has taught me so much about nonprofit work, but beyond the work experience it has taught me how committed all of the employees are to serving their community, specifically the children. Their programs have definitely made a positive impact among children who do not always receive the attention they deserve, and has provided these children with a positive influence which they so desperately need. I look forward to volunteering with them in the future and witnessing their success in our community!

Allison26

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a student at UAB and have been volunteering with this organization for about four years. I cannot express how much i truly love and admire this organization! They are doing tremendous work in our community. They have hands down the most helpful staff who are clearly passionate about making a difference in children's reading skills. They are quick to respond to communication and will help you select a volunteer program that best fits in with your schedule. They have also helped me several times with class projects! I get way too excited to volunteer with the programs, and I find myself wanting to do every single program that they offer. You will not be disappointed to work with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked in the office helping prepare materials for sudents during the last several summers. Everyone at Better Basics is truly concerned about children in our community. They are helpful and suppotive of me when I am in the office, and I'm proud to be a part of the good work that they do. They give away more than 40,000 books a year to kids that need them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got involved with Better Basics because i wanted to make an impact in the schools in the urban communities. Better Basics fulfilled that desire and gave me a chance to experience some of situations that i did not know exist.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been acquainted with Better Basic for over r 20 years. I have served on the Board for seven as Secretary, Vice-President and President. Better Basic has a clear vision and works with efficiency, dedication and purpose as they serve the children of the Birmingham and surrounding area. Volunteers and retired teachers work one on one and with small groups to teach the basics of reading and instill a desire to read and a love for literature. I am honored to have been a part of such a wonderful group of professionals and dedicated volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Although I am a working parent, with a very busy schedule, I felt compelled to participate in the Better Basic Reading Program. After seeing a presentation by one of the staff members of Better Basic, I signed up to volunteer one day a week at a local elementary school.
Better Basics provided books of various genres (comic, classic, scientific etc.) just to name a few, for students to read at their leisure. To encourage the students to participate they incorporated a great reward system as well. Kids were rewarded with books for their private collection, tee shirts and all sorts of trinkets that kids love.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to participate in this program. I saw the excitement and passion that some of the kids had for reading. I saw kids encouraging and challenging each other to read as well.

The only way to know the effect of this program is to become involved in it. I encourage anyone to make the time to participate, even if it is only for a short period of time.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Better Basics for three years. This organization has been sucessful in working with intercity schools to help improve reading schools. More than 16,000 under-served students participated in Better Basics Programs this past year. The Better Basics programs help children make great strides in reading and learning skills.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Better Basics does an amazing job of providing books and resources to our schools and its students. I was able to go read to a class of 3rd graders and at the end of the reading able to give every student in the class their own copy of the book. It was a rewarding experience to see the kid's face light up when they were presented with their own book. Leaders are readers and Better Basics does an outstanding job of leading kids down that path.

Angela47

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I started volunteering at Better Basics as a requirement for a college course. I had intended to put in my minimum of 20 hours and be done. But I enjoyed my time there so much that I've decided to finish out the school year. Every Thursday I volunteer at the HOPE after school program, and I've seen first hand the benefits Better Basics provides. The children adore Ms. Rachael and Ms. Ebony. They receive encouragement and praise from both the teachers and the volunteers. I've been extremely surprised by how bright these children truly are, and when they are given the proper attention and guidance, those lights truly shine! I have also had the opportunity to spend some time in the office with Ms. Kathleen and other members of the staff. They are all extremely devoted to the agency and what it stands for. One thing that stood out the most was how grateful they all are for their volunteers. I have always loved to read, and its a huge disappointment to me when I see how most children hate to read. Having said that, when I came across Better Basics I knew I had found something I could truly stand behind!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Better Basics is making a tremendous impact in the lives of students. It is incredible to observe the after-school enrichment programs and how they affect whole families, not just individual students. I have had the privilege to participate in some of the gardening programs, amazing to see the kids learn how to produce and consume their own food. This organization is one-of-a-kind.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Better Basics multiple times. Their staff is easy to work with and are always prepared. I really enjoyed the Birmingham Reads! oppportunity. I took my entire team to read on this day and it was very rewarding. I am proud to volunteer with them and appreciate the hard work they do for our community.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Better Basics, under the leadership of Karen Capp, is a strong organization that is accomplishing its goals. From dedicated volunteers with huge hearts, to a compassionate mission statement, and supportive management, Better Basics is a great nonprofit!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a member of The Children's Literacy Guild, I became involved with Better Basics ten years ago. I have served as a volunteer in many areas and have been so impressed with the impact the literacy intervention programs have had on the students. I mentored a 4th grade class and saw how reading levels were improved over the school year. It was a joy to visit the schools and see the excitement of the students and teachers for the program.

Review from Guidestar