Beyond Basics was delighted to participate as a partner with Detroit Parks and Recreation, the Detroit Public Schools Community District, Michigan State University, and The Skillman Foundation in Summer Fun Centers for Detroit children.
The children rotated through a variety of recreational activities four days a week, with the fifth day being reserved for a field trip. At three of the twelve centers, one of the activities for rising first through fourth graders was a literacy program delivered by Beyond Basics and funded by The Skillman Foundation.
Holistic Literacy Program

The summertime represents an important time for Detroit children to get a boost in reading, and Beyond Basics delivered its full suite of literacy programs at Wayne, Gardner, and Erma Henderson elementary schools. Students received daily, one-on-one tutoring in reading.

Enrichment activities supplemented the daily tutoring. One day a week, students were exposed to books through music. For example, students at Henderson settled onto a blanket spread on the floor one day. Together with teacher Natasha Zahor, they talked about the picture book All Are Welcome. Then Zahor sang the words to the book, and the children sang the refrain. By focusing attention on rhythm and rhyme, music helps students build memory and break words down into recognizable parts.

In addition to music, students wrote stories that were bound in bright, hard-cover books that they could take home, and they created artwork in the style of master painters. These enrichment programs built vocabulary, provided motivation, and encouraged a love of learning.

Watch this video to see how the Beyond Basics teacher incorporates music into her literacy lesson.


Students at Gardner Elementary were excited to see their stories printed and bound into hard-cover books that they could keep.