Comerica Bank Teams with Beyond Basics to Support Literacy in Detroit Public Schools

Comerica Bank Teams with Beyond Basics to Support Literacy in Detroit Public Schools

Comerica VP of Sports Sponsorships and Marketing Operations Manager Yvonne Stacherski presents a check for $18,000 to Beyond Basics Outreach Director Javier Reed. Beyond Basics provides tutoring and one-on-one reading lessons for Detroit Public Schools students grades pre-k through 12. Credit: Detroit Lions

The Lions recognized Comerica’s First Down for Literacy program at the 9:05 mark of the fourth quarter during their home game vs. the Minnesota Vikings on Dec. 23. First Downs for Literacy, a Facebook contest promotion that allowed fans to guess the Lions’ first downs totaled each game, awarded $100 to Beyond Basics for Lions’ conversions at Ford Field this season. Credit: Detroit Lions

Beyond Basics Outreach Director Javier Reed (left), helping Makayla Link during a tutoring session. Through her work at Beyond Basics, Makayla was able to improve her GPA from 2.5 to 3.5 and her reading level improved four grades.

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 8:30am


CONTENT: Article

One of the most successful literacy programs for students in Detroit Public Schools received a boost from Comerica Bank and the Detroit Lions.

Through a partnership with the football team, Comerica Bank pledged $100 for every first down the Lions made at home games accumulating to $18,000. The gift supports Beyond Basics and their literacy programs.

Pamela Good, co-founder and CEO for Beyond Basics, says the program helps students have better outcomes not only in their education, but for the rest of their lives.

“Without an education, you’re increasingly limited in the choices you can make for your life,” Good said. “Turning kids into avid readers through our program puts them on the path to a becoming lifelong learners. By helping them develop a love of reading at a young age, we’re putting them on the road to success.”

Founded in 2002, the nonprofit organization provides tutoring and one-on-one reading lessons for students with Detroit Public Schools. Students who work with the group also have access to free books and other supplemental programs to improve their reading, writing and art.

An oversized check was presented from Comerica to Beyond Basics prior to the Dec. 23 game against the Minnesota Vikings. Michael Cheatham, vice president and contributions manager for Comerica Bank’s Michigan Market, discussed the importance of reading in the educational experience.

“Reading is an incredibly important part of every student’s education and growth and it needs to be nurtured,” Cheatham said. “Organizations like Beyond Basics are so important in giving every student the literacy skills needed to succeed. The love of reading they help children develop creates lifelong learners.”

Good praised Comerica Bank for choosing to support the organization through the “Lions First Down” contest.

“We’re grateful for community partnerships like the one with Comerica Bank,” Good said. “Illiteracy is the largest solvable disability in America. If you can’t read in this country, you’re essentially locked out of an education. Our proven methods unlock the power and miracle of reading to open a new future for those most in need.”

The programs offered by Beyond Basics have already shown results, with several success stories form the program improving their GPA and increasing their reading comprehension by multiple grade levels.

Among the offerings by the organization are their Read to Rise and Reading Readiness programs. For high school students, the SOAR program continues the work that starts in younger grade levels. To measure the success of their programs, Beyond Basics conducts a pre-test and post-test assessment to determine the success of each of their participants.

To promote the partnership, Comerica Bank hosted a social media contest for Lions’ fans, giving a pair of tickets to each home game to someone who guessed the correct number of first downs Detroit made in their previous home game.

Corporate social responsibility has long been a focus for Comerica Bank. Efforts like the “Lions First Down” program are part of Comerica’s strong commitment to the local community.

“Organizations like Beyond Basics are vital to building stronger communities,” Cheatham said. “Their programs help students in Detroit have a better chance at success in life. We’re proud to support them as they work to improve literacy rates and give kids the chance to succeed well into the future.”

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CATEGORY: Education