Literacy Organization Receives $1 Million Gift from Webber Foundation | Michigan News

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DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area nonprofit has received $1 million from the Wayne and Joan Webber Foundation to help improve literacy for K-12 students.

The funding allows Beyond Basics to hire more tutors and continue to grow even during school disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization said Wednesday.

The gift establishes the Webber Foundation as a partner in Beyond Basics Legacy and also brings the foundation’s total investment supporting Beyond Basics literacy efforts to $6 million since 2006.

“Wayne and Joan have been central to the development of our multi-sensory tutoring program,” said Pamela Good, co-founder and chief executive of Southfield-based Beyond Basics. “They were some of the earliest supporters of Beyond Basics, and they have continued to push forward to facilitate our growth whenever the need arose.”

The Beyond Basics program offers individualized reading plans for students for one hour a day, five days a week with trained tutors. Students improve their reading skills to grade level in about six weeks, the nonprofit organization said.

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Students will also receive lessons on the life of Wayne Webber, owner of WW Webber, Inc., a highway construction company. Members of the Webber Foundation will visit Beyond Basics courses and attend ceremonies after the tutorial is complete.

The Clinton Township-based foundation seeks to provide access to quality health care, improve education for inner-city children, and provide food, clothing and shelter to the less fortunate.

“My aunt and uncle understood the essential role of literacy in a young person’s life,” foundation president Cynthia Webber Helisek said in a statement. “The ability to read and understand the written word should be the foundation of education in every community.”

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