Incorporated in 2002, Beyond Basics is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to eradicate illiteracy, transforming the lives of students and creating stronger communities. Our program provides a diagnostic assessment followed by one-on-one, phonics-based, multisensory tutoring that combines the Orton-Gillingham prescriptive approach with fine arts activities essential for building vocabulary and comprehension. It’s hourlong, daily, highest dosage tutoring that cultivates curiosity, encourages a love of learning, and delivers results: we see students achieve grade-level movement 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.

Joique Bell starts literacy initiative in Benton Harbor

Joique Bell, former Benton Harbor High School football standout and Detroit Lions running back, is on a mission to tackle the literacy problem in his hometown in partnership with Beyond Basics. Watch the video to hear Joique's heart on the issue, as well as learn more about the problem and our proven solution. Literacy is for everyone.

Latest News

Kathryn Cottrell was taught a specific and popular method of teaching students how to read when she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies with a focus on literacy in


Parents of nearly 5,700 Michigan students are getting some unwelcome news: Their third graders could be held back from moving on to the fourth grade because of low reading scores. 

Kaylee, an eighth-grader in a light blue hoodie, read a list of words, one by one, to teacher Jessica Thurby.

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.

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18000 West Nine Mile Road
Suite 450
Southfield, MI 48075

Contact Us

Fax: 248-996-9577