October 17, 2018

Beyond Basics opens Family Literacy Center

thanks to founding partner General Motors

DETROIT – To help teach Detroit families to read and prepare for the workforce, the Beyond Basics Family Literacy Center opened its doors on Oct. 17 at the Durfee Innovation Society. Thanks in part to a $250,000 grant from General Motors, the center will provide literacy, GED and SAT prep and workforce development services and more.

In August 2018, the national unemployment rate was 3.9%; in Michigan, 4.1% and in Detroit 9.2%. It’s no secret that illiteracy is a major contributor to unemployment. According to the World Literacy Foundation, the economic cost of illiteracy in the United States is estimated to be over $300 billion.

“This isn’t a charitable contribution, it is an investment in the city,” said Terry Rhadigan, executive director of Corporate Giving at General Motors. “Beyond Basics has a proven track record of lifting students’ reading skills to grade-level in astonishing time frames. This partnership will expand their platform outside the classroom to positively impact hundreds of young adults in Detroit.”

Beyond Basics started working in Detroit in 1999 and through its work realized that illiteracy is a crisis and a generational problem. By providing a literacy center in the heart of the community, entire families can access the support they need to learn to read.

“We are grateful to General Motors for providing the resources to extend our services deeper into the community. If you cannot read in this country you are essentially locked out of an education and without an education your choices in life become much more limited,” said co-founder/CEO of Beyond Basics Pam Good. “Reading is an essential life skill. The Beyond Basics Family Literacy Center brings our support right to those who need it. Only through literacy can we break the generational cycle of poverty in families and create opportunities to rebuild our community one family at a time.”

 Beyond Basics Family Literacy Center programming and support include:

  • Literacy Suite (Reading Tutoring, Art with the Masters, Publishing Center, Expanding Horizons)
  • GED Prep
  • Online Diploma
  • SAT Prep
  • Essay writing
  • Resume writing

Beyond Basics Literacy Suite

Beyond Basics gets students reading in four to 14 weeks using trained reading tutors who provide intensive one-on-one and small group reading sessions with a researched-based, customizable, reading curriculum.

Beyond Basics Literacy Suite

  • The Read to Rise Tutoring program: A literacy intervention program based upon Tattum Reading System (TRS) methodology that combines the best of systematic phonics, auditory processing, and literature-based instruction to create a streamlined, multi-sensory program including immediate reading application with high interest and phonetically controlled books.
  • Publishing Center: Helps students write and edit original stories which are bound into hardcover books.
  • Art with The Masters: Provides lessons about master artists that include history, geography, foreign language and artistic techniques that students use in a variety of projects.
  • Expanding Horizons: Provides partnerships and mentoring programs to help students build vocabulary and comprehension.

Founding Sponsor: General Motors; Academic Literacy Partner: Artichoke Garlic Foundation; Literacy Ally Sponsors: Globe Midwest International Adjusters; J9 Media Solutions; Literacy Advocate Sponsors: UHY Advisors, Emily & Henry Ford, III, Samuel & Jean Frankel Foundation, The Qazi Foundation; Literacy Supporter Sponsor: Aaron & Carolynn Frankel Foundation, Freudenberg North America LLP                                 

About Beyond Basics

Beyond Basics’ proven methods unlock the miracle and power of reading and open a whole new world and future to those who need it most. Beyond Basics is a literacy-focused nonprofit dedicated to one-on-one reading tutoring and literacy enrichment programs for K-12 students in Metropolitan Detroit.

 About Durfee Innovation Society

Life Remodeled has repurposed the former Durfee Elementary-Middle school building into the “Durfee Innovation Society,” which is a hub of opportunity for children, students and adults. The best and brightest nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies share resources and achieve greater collective impact in partnership with students and community leaders to move the needle on educational outcomes and community revitalization. They provide innovative approaches to education, employment, and support for entrepreneurs and various social services. In June 2018, it was announced as the first HUD EnVISION Center in America.

About General Motors

General Motors is a global company committed to delivering safer, better and more sustainable ways for people to get around. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Holden, Baojun, Wuling and Jiefang brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, and Maven, its personal mobility brand, can be found at http://www.gm.com.