STAIR of Birmingham

Read Better. Dream Bigger.

aka STAIR   |   Birmingham, AL   |  www.stairbirmingham.org

Mission

At STAIR we know that students in our community are struggling with literacy. Through one-on-one afterschool tutoring, we empower students with the tools to read better and dream bigger, because every child deserves to be reading on grade level.

Ruling year info

2005

Chief Executive Officer

Karen Griner

Main address

3703 5th Avenue South, Suite 400

Birmingham, AL 35222 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-3541638

NTEE code info

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

STAIR works with students during the most critical time of their education. Prior to third grade, most children are learning to read - gaining the basic skills that they need to be academically successful. As they move into third grade, they are reading to learn - using their skills to gain knowledge in math, history, language and science, and developing a love of learning that will help transform their futures. According to The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, "Reading proficiency by third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success", yet only 24% of Birmingham City students reached this benchmark during the 2018-19 school year. This means that more than 3 out of 4 Birmingham students need literacy support outside of the classroom. Without one-on-one intervention like STAIR, a student's reading gap becomes larger and larger as they move along the education pipeline.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

After School Tutoring

While Birmingham has seen improvement in student achievement, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Three out of 4 Birmingham students are currently unable to reach reading benchmarks. The single greatest predictor of high school graduation and career success is third grade reading proficiency. Children who can’t read are unlikely to graduate from high school, find their life’s work, or read their child’s favorite bedtime story.

Students come to STAIR two afternoons a week and build relationships with the same two tutors who are focused on their individual literacy needs, empowering them to start their adventure in reading.

After completing the program, STAIR students are excited to pick up a book and read independently, putting them on the path to proudly walk across their graduation stage, apply for their dream job, and teach their own kids to read.

STAIR currently serves 11 Birmingham City Schools as well as Restoration Academy and I3 Academy, which are privately funded.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Alabama Association of Nonprofits 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

After School Tutoring

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

COVID has caused enrollment to drop the past two years due to challenges with recruiting volunteers and virtual tutoring.

Average increase in oral reading fluency

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

After School Tutoring

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Testing scores for 2019 unavailable due to early school closures because of COVID-19.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

After School Tutoring

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

After School Tutoring

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

From students to retired doctors and everyone in between, STAIR tutors invest in second grade students who not only need help in bringing up their reading scores, but also need a friend and a mentor.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

(1) Increase the reading level of children identified as having deficiencies in this subject area.
(2) Increase the confidence and self-esteem of participating first and second graders.
(3) Provide a caring and supportive environment that will help students overcome their literacy challenges.

STAIR trains volunteer tutors on how to utilize our step-by-step professionally detailed and copyrighted curriculum and staff provides on site support as well as continuing training for volunteers throughout the program year.

Additionally, due to our one-on-one tutoring model, students are able to work at their own pace with the same two tutors throughout the course of the year. This not only provides consistency and familiarity with the students' needs, it also creates a safe environment that allows them to flourish.

STAIR works with principals, teachers and reading coaches to identify students who are reading below grade level and are struggling with basic literacy skill development. Once identified, teachers then contact parents and caregivers to register students and to provide an overview of the program. After all participants have been identified and registered, STAIR pairs students with two volunteer tutors who work with the student weekly to provide over 55 hours of one-on-one tutoring. The program begins early in September and goes through the end of April each school-year.

STAIR provides the following services at no charge to the families of the participants or the schools:

Tutors: Each second grader will be assigned two, trained volunteer tutors that provide one-on-one support and remain with the student throughout the year.

Tutoring Sessions: Each second grader will receive tutoring twice per week—one hour per session.

Curriculum-Based Support: STAIR uses a step-by-step professionally detailed and copyrighted program that enhances the standards-based curriculum utilized within the public school system. Each volunteer tutor is trained to successfully use this program.

Educational Materials and Supplies: Participating students will receive workbooks/worksheets, alphabet cards and basic supplies--glue sticks, scissors, crayons, pencils, notebooks, and stickers—to ensure that they have the tools to be successful. Students will also have access to site-based lending libraries and free books for their home libraries.

Other Support: In addition to the above, STAIR provides healthy snacks, individual and family resource referrals as needed (like summer learning opportunities), and family engagement programs meant to recognize student achievement and involve the entire family in present and future success.

Due to COVID-19, we were not able to obtain end-of-year testing results for the 2019-20 school year. However, during the 2018-19 program year, STAIR students increased their oral reading fluency by 103% upon completing the program. Additionally, 96% of surveyed volunteers reported that they saw an improvement in their student's self-esteem since starting the program.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Birmingham 1st and 2nd grade students from 12 schools.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We are in the second year of using a new curriculum created by STAIR staff. We are currently revising the curriculum based on feedback and real-life experiences of our tutors.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

STAIR of Birmingham
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

STAIR of Birmingham

Board of directors
as of 06/27/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Margaret Sullivan


Board co-chair

LeDon Jones

SouthState Bank

Term: 2022 - 2023

Amy McCain

Bruno Capital Management

Brad Baker

Morgan Stanley

William Dow

Warren Averett

John Dulin, Jr.

Maynard Cooper

Tiffany Osborne

UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research

Carla Roberson

Alabama Power

Margaret Sullivan

Community Volunteer

Beth Wilder

Former Executive Director of The Literacy Council

Kennon Walthall

Avenu Insights

LeDon Jones

South State Bank

Beth Pitman

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis

Sarah Wheeler

Community Volunteer

Scott Davis

Altec

Christin French

French & Ford

Todd Hamilton

Smith, Spires, Peddy, Hamilton & Coleman P.C.

Vanessa Pettway

Eisai US

Cora Underwood

Retired, AT&T

Ashley Samuels

ED Birmingham

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/21/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/01/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.