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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

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

I recently spent the morning touring a couple of schools that Beyond Basics works with. I was very impressed with their program and the work that they are doing. It seems such a simple thing to learn to read and yet so many children in poor or underserved communities are missing out. Literacy is a truly impactful gift. And I love that they don't stop with teaching a child or young adult to read but they also engage them in other ways and show them that they are valued! Keep up the great work!!


Rating: 5

I recently, came across Beyond Basics and did research on them and their mission. I like how they are trying to teach and support the children in Detroit to make for a better future for them. They use their tutoring programs to get these students literate. They bring them up to grade level and sometimes even higher. It is amazing to see how passionate they are towards helping these students. I couldn't be happier to say I help support this organization.



Rating: 5

Beyond Basics recognizes that not all freedoms should be taken for granted. Not everyone has access to smart education, literacy programs and health and wellness programs. Beyond Basics fills in the gaps for the underserved. This is an invaluable resource to MANY.


Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization that reaches many children in the city of Detroit, teaching them how to read. It is run by a wonderful woman Pam Good who hires skilled tutors that go into these under served communities. Children and Adults all benefit!