Imagine, for a moment, the implications of being an adult but being unable to read beyond a first-grade level. Anxiety, helplessness, and limitations in many spheres would likely be part of your life.

In 2017, Elijah Craft, a high school senior in the Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD), was in this situation. He had made it all the way through the school system with a first-grade reading level.

85% of students living in vulnerable cities like Detroit are in the “literacy gap”, which means they are more than a grade level behind in reading.

Beyond Basics, a literacy-focused nonprofit organization in Southeast Michigan believes that the literacy gap is the largest solvable disability in the U.S. Utilizing a proven method, Beyond Basics provides one-on-one reading tutoring and literacy enrichment programs for K-12 students that consistently achieve grade-level movement in six to twelve weeks. The impact of these drastic results opens participants up to a whole new future.

After Elijah began working with his Beyond Basics tutor, he graduated 25th in his class, went on to university, and his self-confidence improved dramatically. Dr. Nikolai Vitti, DPSCD Superintendent, would like to see Beyond Basics helping every high school student who needs it, and with the help of generous donors, it is possible.

In light of this goal, a donor who was impressed with the services Beyond Basics is offering at Holy Redeemer Catholic School recently opened a designated fund with the Catholic Foundation to support Beyond Basics. In a designated fund, beneficiary organizations can utilize financial support from the fund as it is needed.

“We are called by God to help the oppressed. If we let high school students graduate without the ability to read they are given a life sentence of poverty. It is the moral thing to do, to change the direction of a student’s life,” reflects Pamela Good, Co-Founder and CEO of Beyond Basics.

The Catholic Foundation is proud to partner with Beyond Basics to offer another way for generous donors to help children learn to read, change the course of their lives, and help transform communities burdened by poverty. An investment in literacy immediately delivers a cure to the students it funds, while also breaking a generational cycle of illiteracy.

In addition to tutoring, Beyond Basics also provides many extras for the students it serves, from coats to enrichment activities. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Beyond Basics acted swiftly to implement a new virtual platform to continue providing one-on-one reading tutoring, and so far results have been on par with those seen with in-person tutoring.

Please join the Catholic Foundation in supporting this vital mission by giving to the designated fund. Through literacy education funded by your generous gift, you help change these children’s destinies.

Give today to the Beyond Basics: Literacy is for Everyone Designated Fund.