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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Beyond Basics

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Children & Youth, Education, Educational Services, Literacy, Remedial Reading & Encouragement, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Beyond Basics works to change the destinies of students’ lives by guiding and supporting at-risk children in grades K-12 through literacy, literacy-enrichment and community partnership programs. Through intensive one-on-one tutoring by trained staff, we get children reading at grade level in just six weeks.

Target demographics: Beyond Basics works to help at-risk youth develop in mind and spirit—nurturing their abilities, self-confidence and the impact that they will one day have on their communities.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 7,451 students (including students in Brazil, India, Philippines and South Africa through the Beyond Basics International Art & Writing Project).

Geographic areas served: Public schools in Detroit and Pontiac. Our reach extends internationally through the International Art & Writing Project.

Programs: -- “Read to Rise” reading program: We provide one-on-one, intensive, on-site tutoring services to students in grades K-12 during regular school hours. Our students work with a trained tutor for one hour sessions on a regular schedule, promoting trust and consistency. 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 to help hone their reading skills. -- Expanding Horizons: 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. -- The International Art & Writing Project: Through use of art and writing, this program reinforces literacy, encourages creativity and fosters students’ awareness and understanding of each other and the world around them.

Community Stories

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Beyond Basics is that they are a passionate organization determined to change the lives of children through their reading tutoring programs. When you meet the President of the organization, Pamela Good, you can just sense and hear how passionate and driven she is to the cause and being able to help these children learn to read and gain the confidence to pursue their goals and dreams in life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with the Beyond Basics staff. My experience with this organization is that they are truly passionate about helping children in anyway they can. They don't just tutor the children in literacy, they also give them a one on one relationship with their tutor. This not only gives the children a tutor but also a friend. Beyond Basics does some amazing things for children.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Beyond Basics is a wonderful nonprofit organization with a wonderful team,that are truly dedicated to changing students lives,by helping them reach their goal to read on their proper reading level. I had the opportunity to volunteer for this organization,and I was very pleased with how much each Team Member put their hearts into their job. GO BEYOND BASICS!!!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization to become involved with. Giving children opportunities by tutoring those struggling to read. It is very rewarding to help Beyond Basics do what they do best, teach children to read.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone in this organization works hard to bring literacy to Detroit and Pontiac students. It was a pleasure being part of a team when it was easy and convenient for me! I would encourage others to volunteer and donate!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my second school year volunteering weekly with the children at the Woodside Pontiac Dream Center. It has been a most positive experience for me, exceeding my expectations. The dedication to the children by the Beyond Basics people and the staff of the Woodside Dream Center is consistent and tangible. These respectful kids are receptive to instruction, direction and any food there is to eat! There seem to be more and more children each week receiving not only help with reading and writing but being fed, loved and given guidance in living life through on the spot counseling and team sports like basketball. The parents or guardians almost always are picking up happy energized young people at the end of the session. These are just my observations one evening a week! I believe the Dream Center is open 7 days a week. Lord willing, I hope to be a part of this work for a long, long time. - Deb McCormick

Kyle D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served as a weekly reading and writing volunteer at Barbara Jordan Elementary School in Detroit. It was my job to help students with their writing projects — and through a focused effort, we made that happen.

The Beyond Basics directors were friendly, courteous, helpful, and gave all of us volunteers solid direction to best assist the children.

In the past, I've volunteered with other organizations that felt self-serving — yet Beyond Basics is quite the opposite. True altruism. No self-congratulory pats on the back or expensive dinners. Just hard work and grit.

Volunteers work directly with the students, and are encouraged to use their individual strengths to connect with their students. It is not a rigid, stodgy program and drew lots of professionals to lend a hand. I have recommended this program to every colleague of mine looking to lend a hand.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered 2 years at Thirkell elementary and it was truly a wonderful and fulfilling experience working with the BB staff and students. This program had truly inspired kids at Thirkell to read and It was amazing to see the same kids increase their vocabulary and show immense interest in reading. Beyond Basics...Keep up the good work!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I volunteered earlier this year for Beyond Basics Reading Buddies. The program was great and met very friendly staff. They do a good job helping kids find things they like in school and get them motivated.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for Beyond Basics last year and truly enjoyed my experience at Burton Elementary. Reading and creating stories with children is such a reward. Jessie runs things for the program at the school and always brings such positive energy. She has done a great job making these programs come alive for the children and for us volunteers. Looking forward to this year. Thank you Beyond Basics.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for Beyond Basics is an easy and rewarding way to make a difference in the lives of kids who could benefit from a little extra help. The hours are flexible, so I can volunteer around my work and school schedule.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Beyond Basics last year at an elementary/middle school in Detroit as the role of "Reading Buddies". What an amazing organization Beyond Basics is. You can tell that these volunteers have a real passion for what they do and really do make a massive impact on all of those who they come in contact with. Seeing how much the kids improve by sitting with volunteers, reading, and having fun with their daily tasks is amazing. This organization should not go unrecognized. I strongly recommend anyone and everyone to be apart of this team.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am just beginning to volunteer at Beyond Basics but love the chance to make a difference with one time or infrequent activities. So many programs have one day a year or you need to commit to a set schedule. My life is sporadic and this programs appreciates what I can do each time. I know I will volunteer more often as I so respect this program.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have valued my time not only working in the office with staff but also in the schools with children. So few volunteer opportunities offer so many options, including the chance to work one-on-one with a student. The results of the Beyond Basics reading model are compelling. I am thrilled to be involved on so many levels, but there is nothing like the delight in a child’s eyes when he or she realizes he or she can truly and confidently read.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at the publishing center at Burton Elementary, and the Give Kids a Hand event. It's always really fun to volunteer for this organization.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm volunteering at Thirkell Hill Elementary for the first time. I feel it a great opportunity to contribute for the community. I would definitely volunteer again next year. It is a great program provided by Beyond Basics.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I really enjoyed my experience with Beyond Basics, interacting and building something with the kids. The experience was probably as enriching for me as it was for the kids.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We were part of an art project, working with 2nd graders on how they perceived their greatness. My first young man, felt his greatness when he played basketball, sometimes playing with his 2 year old brother. My second young man said he felt great when he biked with his Dad, and he wanted to help others as a police officer when he grew up.

It was a great day, to work with kids in visioning their greatness in their current life and in their future adult life. Placing that feeling of greatness into artwork, to be placed in our office at a later date as an art exhibit. The children were eager to have outsiders be a part of their day, and it was awesome to see what happens in the Detroit Public Schools, compared to our own hometown schools, and what makes these teachers click in educating our DPS scholars. I look forward to viewing how my 2 young scholars finish out their artwork in color. Thanks for a great day!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my first time and felt very happy.programs organized by BEYOND BASICS very help full to the kids and changing their lives.I really appreciate the work they are doing and they have excellent and professional staff.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Beyond Basics is a dynamic program that everyone should support! I really appreciate the work they are doing and I can see that it is really making a difference. I'm really enjoying my volunteer day getting to work directly with the students. The program facilitators are awesome and I can see that they really care about helping the students. I would like to come back soon to support.