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Our mission is to improve the reading skills and self-esteem of second graders.

When the hustle and bustle of each new school year starts, STAIR works with our partner Birmingham City Schools to identify second graders who need our help. With the help of teachers and the administration, we look for students who attend school regularly and whose reading skills would improve with one-on-one attention from a trained tutor.

Two days a week after school, from September through April, STAIR students look forward to their time with a tutor of their very own!

Upon arriving at the school library after dismissal, or being taken by bus to a nearby church, students enjoy a healthy snack before getting back to their studies. Around 3:30 or 3:45 it's time to join their tutors for an hour of learning. Together, the tutor and student read, play word games, practice phonics and write stories, all centered around STAIR's 5 units of curriculum. As the year progresses, the student has the opportunity to develop his or her skills in reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing.

Volunteers work with the same student each week, creating a special bond and building their self-esteem. These children savor the individual attention from an adult and a life changing relationship often evolves through weeks of reading together and learning in such a personal, safe environment. This tutor/student bond is the greatest factor in the success of the program and students who graduate from the program consistently show an average rate of improvement of over 90% in their reading scores.

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