DETROIT, Feb. 20, 2019 – In 1999, cofounder and CEO of Beyond Basics, Pamela Good walked into a Detroit school with a mission to make a difference by delivering coats; what she found was that the students needed much more. Thanks to her persistence and support from partners, sponsors and volunteers, Beyond Basics has transformed thousands of lives.

Twenty years later, nearly 5,000 students are reading after graduating from Beyond Basics’ proven program in Detroit, Pontiac and Taylor, as well as pilot programs in El Paso, Texas and Immokalee, Fla., thanks to the generosity of its supporters. Beyond Basics has also published more than 75,000 books authored by children and given more than 30,000 coats to those in need. Beyond Basics has helped more than 100,000 southeastern Michigan students and in 2018, the inaugural Beyond Basics Family Literacy Center was opened to serve all ages.

Please join Beyond Basics in celebrating these successes and help kick off National Reading Month at the Beyond Basics 20th Anniversary “Coming Together for Children” Gala on March 1!

What: Beyond Basics 20th Anniversary “Coming Together for Children” Gala
Where: Detroit Athletic Club, 241 Madison Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
Date:  Friday, March 1, 2019
Time:  6 – 10 p.m.

Tickets: Purchase tickets here or by contacting Sarah Kmetz at or call 248.250.9304.

“Beyond Basics is excited to celebrate our 20th anniversary, but our work is not done. Illiteracy is a crisis as it has not been fully addressed or understood for decades,” said Good. “We need the entire community to come together to help achieve our goal to eradicate illiteracy.”

Beyond Basics will present the following awards at the gala –

Literacy Chair Award – Judge Geno Salomone of Taylor, Mich.

In 2016, Geno Salomone, the 23rd District Court Judge, initiated an effort to bring the Beyond Basics intensive tutoring program to Taylor, Mich. He advocated on behalf of Beyond Basics with the PNC Foundation, McKinley Properties, Taylor Community Development Corporation, and Taylor’s school board, superintendents and Mayor. Thanks to his leadership, Beyond Basics has implemented its holistic literacy program at Myers Elementary since then and the students who participated are now reading at grade level.

“We thank Judge Salomone for believing in the power of a literate child and the power of a united community. He went above and beyond with his advocacy for literacy. Without his vision for the children of Taylor, none of this could be possible,” said Good. “We had great success with the students and Myers Elementary was removed from the Michigan Department of Education’s ‘Priority List in March 2018.”


Partner of the Year –

Beyond Basics will honor the Farbman Group as its 2018 Partner of the Year due to its significant investment and its support since the beginning.

“The Farbman Group was the first organization to fully fund Beyond Basics’ programs in a school and allowed us to establish our model, as well as run an onsite Publishing Center and Make a Difference Art program,” said Good. “The Farbman Group continues to go above and beyond in its commitment to the children of our community by volunteering in the schools, donating in-kind items and sponsoring programs like our Beyond Basics Publishing Center.”

Volunteers of the Year Awards – Beyond Basics will honor Susan Wilhelm of Birmingham, Mich. and Susan Galambos of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. as 2018 Volunteers of the Year.

“Both Susan Wilhelm and Susan Galambos have helped Beyond Basics in many ways for many years. They’ve provided a tremendous amount of support for our events and in our Publishing Center. They work diligently to make a big impact and have made a true difference for the students we serve!” said Good.

Generous event sponsors:

Literacy Champion – Emily and Henry Ford III and Globe Midwest Adjusters International

Literacy Partner – Comerica Bank

Literacy Ally – Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss, Kathleen and George McCann

Literacy Advocate – Bridgewater Interiors, Ideal Group, Julius Giarmarco, Tim Wagerson and Peslar Foundation

About Beyond Basics
Beyond Basics is a family-centered, literacy-focused 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing holistic literacy programming to unlock the miracle and power of reading for children and adults. Beyond Basics partners with principals and schools using proven methods to bring students to literacy in underperforming K-12 schools in metropolitan Detroit. Beyond Basics opened its inaugural Family Literacy Center in October 2018 to bring literacy, GED, online diploma and SAT prep and workforce development services such as resume and essay writing to families. By providing a literacy center in the heart of the community, entire families have access to the support they need to learn to read.

 Beyond Basics’ certified and trained tutors create a literacy prescription tailored to the individual student needs – one-on-one or small group tutoring using a multi-sensory reading curriculum for one hour per day; literacy enrichment programs to provide new experiences and encourage lifelong learning; and partnerships and mentoring activities to develop trust and build vocabulary and comprehension.

Literacy helps children and adults break through invisible barriers that overshadow their hopes and dreams and enables them to experience the world that exists beyond their neighborhood.