Jeanne Isaacs had a dream. It was 2000, and as the Director of Children's Education at Independent Presbyterian Church, she envisioned creating a program to celebrate and honor "The Year of the Child", an initiative set in place by the Presbyterian Church USA. After collaborating with Caroline Polson, a Birmingham City School teacher, they knew that focusing on tutoring children in reading was the way to go.
Jeanne wasted no time and launched the STAIR program that fall, empowering 12 sweet second grade students from Avondale and Whatley Elementary schools. Like STAIR of New Orleans, the program worked to improve the reading skills of underserved second graders who were reading below grade level. Because of Jeanne, IPC, the school administrations, and 24 weekly volunteers, the first year was a tremendous success.
A short five years after beginning, STAIR formally incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2005. Since then, STAIR has spread, serving 181 at 12 different schools in 2016-17 academic year.
But this is just the beginning.
With many Birmingham City Schools and neighboring school systems currently on our waiting list, our dream is to ensure all students are reading on grade level by the third grade.
However, this dream can't happen without you.