Founded in 2002, Beyond Basics works to eradicate illiteracy, transforming the lives of students and creating stronger communities. We are a student-centered non-profit tutoring students who fall into the “literacy gap.” Our one-on-one, multisensory, structured literacy interventions help students achieve grade-level proficiency in reading in an average of six weeks.

Illiteracy is the Most Solvable Epidemic in the United States

Society is counting on getting education right for our students, and this starts with literacy. We are dedicated to helping generations of young people succeed as readers, and we take great pride in their accomplishments. With literacy, a world of opportunity opens to them, and they can transform their lives and communities.

Beyond Basics and Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) recently announced an expansion of literacy tutoring at Denby High School thanks to a $1.5 million gift from the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation. DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti explained our structured tutoring model.

Latest News

Gabriella Burman and student DaJuan Grandberry talk about Beyond Basics on WJR.

Archie “Art” Van Elslander donates $1.5 million to Beyond Basics that will improve literacy skills for students at Denby High School

Listen to Pamela Good and David Van Elslander talk to Mitch Albom about the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation gift

What We Do

At Beyond Basics, we seek to eradicate illiteracy, transforming the lives of students and creating stronger communities. Our programs offer one-on-one literacy tutoring, helping students reach the goal of grade-level proficiency in reading. With our structured intervention and strong student-tutor relationships, students achieve this goal in an average of six weeks. In addition, we cultivate self-efficacy, curiosity, and a love of lifelong learning with supporting activities that expand horizons.

Student Assessment
Student Assessment

Each student’s reading skills are evaluated by a Michigan certified teacher who writes a prescription to guide the student-tutor relationship.

Hands-On Learning
Hands-On Learning

Students use a multisensory tile board, giving them a hands-on experience in their pursuit of reading.

Individualized Tutoring
Individualized Tutoring

Trained tutors support students as they work one-on-one, one hour a day, building on existing skills to unlock the power of reading.

Expanding Horizons
Expanding Horizons

Story writing, publishing, projects with International Arts and Writing, plus lessons from the lives of master artists and leaders connect students to the world.

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Student with Book

Sponsor a Child

Every individual has the power to help tackle challenges even as complex as the literacy crisis in education. 


We encourage all who are interested in making a difference in the lives of Detroit area students to inquire about the many ways to get involved with Beyond Basics. Coworkers, friends, book clubs, church groups, sports teams, and more are all invited to volunteer and to generously support our literacy efforts, and in so doing, forever change the life of a student in Detroit.

Students Helped
Student Books Published

Be the Solution

Donate today to give the gift of reading to a child.

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

Contact Us

Fax: 248-996-9577