Who We Are

Mission & History


Beyond Basics works to achieve literacy for everyone, transforming the lives of students and creating stronger communities through an intensive tutoring program that helps students achieve grade-level movement and beyond in reading. 


In 1999, Pamela Good took the Joy Road highway exit to a struggling school in Detroit, delivering coats to kids who needed them. That first encounter revealed that the children needed much more than outerwear. This led Good and the late Dr. Joanne Wagerson to cofound Beyond Basics to provide enrichment activities, soon discovering that many of the children could not yet read. Beyond Basics was formally incorporated as a 501(c)3 in 2002 to develop and implement intensive one-on-one reading tutoring and literacy enrichment programs for K-12 students in Detroit and the metropolitan area. Beyond Basics’ data-driven, multisensory, structured literacy interventions help students achieve academic grade-level movement in an average of six weeks. Beyond Basics’ methods unlock the miracle and power of reading for those who need it most.

Beyond Basics Reading Program
Beyond Basics Publishing Program
Student Receiving a Book
Beyond Basics Program

Core Values

Six principles guide and govern our actions at all times:

  • Respect: We treat others and ourselves with dignity, kindness, and respect.
  • Equity: We are dedicated to achieving literacy for everyone as a path to equity and social justice in society.

  • Continuous Improvement: We use proven systems and methods yet are always looking for innovative and efficient ways to accomplish our goals.

  • Collaboration: No one of us is as smart as all of us. We work together as part of a great team.

  • Task Focused: We remain focused on completing the most important tasks. We get the job done.

  • Positive Energy: We approach our work with a positive attitude and energy. We are forward-thinking. We look for the good. 

Beyond Basics currently has:
  • 1,500 plus volunteers
  • 30 staff members supporting our office
  • 100 Program staff supporting our daily school programs
  • Published over 70,000 books written by our students since our incorporation

Through students' resolve, tutors' support, and our dedication to our mission, we see positive results that help students pursue their dreams and connect to life's beautiful opportunities.

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

Contact Us

Fax: 248-996-9577