Frequently Asked Questions

What is Beyond Basics?

Beyond Basics is a student and family centered, literacy focused 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was founded in 2002. We are based in Southfield, Michigan. Our goal is to eradicate illiteracy in Detroit and its surrounding communities through intensive literacy tutoring.

What does Beyond Basics do?

Our unique, holistic, intensive, multi-sensory, proven curriculum makes it possible for low-literacy students to become proficient readers. Our students work one-on-one with tutors, five days per week in order to achieve proficiency.

Why literacy?

An alarming number of students are falling into the literacy gap, reading a grade level or more behind. In addition, roughly 43 million adults in our country possess low literacy skills or are functionally illiterate according to the NCES – and data indicates that this number is going to grow if significant changes do not occur.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

When cofounder and CEO Pamela Good sought to meet the basic needs of students in a single elementary school back in 1999, it became clear that many needed more than the basics. Students were not reading at grade level and needed individualized literacy intervention. In response, the curriculum and methodology of Beyond Basics was developed.

More than two decades later, multiple schools and hundreds of students work with Beyond Basics, improving their reading skills in an average of six weeks. This student response, alongside the diligent efforts of school partners, leads us to believe that illiteracy is the most solvable problem individuals and communities face in the United States.

The payoff to addressing the literacy crisis is significant. For individuals, it opens doors to textbooks and written instructions, job and college applications. For communities, higher literacy rates mean lower rates of poverty, incarceration, unemployment and underemployment. Literacy opens the door to life’s beautiful possibilities.

Who are your tutors?

Our certified tutors come from all walks of life. Some are retired teachers, others are recent college grads, and some are even current college students. In order to achieve certification, our tutors must undergo two weeks of in-depth training to gain a profound understanding of the curriculum and methodology that we use.

Why do you have enrichment programs?

While focusing on a student’s literacy skills is our foremost priority – we believe that it is crucial to focus on the whole child. Art and writing programs are cathartic for kids with trauma it encourages heeling while expanding their vocabulary and discovering new concepts, which is critical for literacy. These experiences are specifically designed to enrich literacy work and encourage a lifelong love of learning - while perhaps unearthing some new passions along the way!

How do you determine a student’s initial reading level?

At the outset of the tutoring process, the Woodcock Reading Mastery (WRMT III) test is administered to all students. This intake test allows us to determine the severity of a student’s needs. Once we have the results, a “prescription” is created for the student. From there, we can create a unique literacy program for the student based on their needs in order to guarantee success.

Where do you conduct tutoring sessions?

We go where they show up. We offer traditional in person tutoring as well as virtual online tutoring.

Primarily, tutoring occurs within school buildings due to our partnerships with school districts. Tutoring also takes place at other sites like the Durfee Innovation Society in Detroit and the Dream Center of Pontiac.

We also offer the option to tutor from home – which is made possible by our virtual tutoring platform.

Is your methodology proven to be successful?

In 2016, Dr. D. Carl Freeman of Wayne State University and Dr. Hilary Horn Ratner conducted a blind study in order to analyze the effectiveness of the Beyond Basics programs. This is a direct quote from Dr. Freeman in his results report:

“The data are unequivocal. Students who participate in the Beyond Basics reading program made more than twice the progress in reading comprehension as was made by the control group, and passage comprehension increased more than threefold.”

As well, the outpouring of positive feedback from students, parents, teachers, and principals describing how the program has changed a student's life for the better, supports and validates the scientific results. As one student said, "Now that I can read, I want to pay it forward, and make sure the next generation can, too."

How can I enroll my student, or get more information?

You can enroll your child by visiting the Online Tutoring page or you can contact us for more information at info@beyondbasics.org or (248)-250-9304.

I have students of different ages who need help. Is this program limited to a particular age?

The program does not have an age limit. We have worked with students from kindergarten through older citizens.

Beyond Basics Logo
18000 West Nine Mile Road
Suite 450
Southfield, MI 48075

Contact Us

Fax: 248-996-9577