Thursday, March 05, 2009

My Town Monday: Detroit

Jake Gyllenhaal reading.

A Detroit Success Story
Beyond Basics

In 1999 six volunteers came together to help children in Detroit learn how to read. Little did they know that would serve as the start for Beyond Basics, a nonprofit that has caught on. Today Beyond Basics employs 20 and four interns that serve students mainly in the Motor City and Pontiac.

It also has more than 1,000 volunteers under its wing in schools across both cities )Pontiac is about 40 minutes from Detroit)."It started as a handful of volunteers who were concerned about the kids in the city," says Pamela Good, president and executive director of Beyond Basics. "We wanted to give them a chance."The nonprofit has developed a system of books and software that has shown to make dramatic improvement right away for at-risk kids. Beyond Basics now publishes about 5,000 books each year that reach more than 4,000 students. By publishing, the group means they print out books the children have written. Some of these "books" are the only ones at home.

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