In 1993, John Glasser founded Better Basics on the belief that poverty and illiteracy are so closely linked they are practically one and the same. Mr. Glasser also understood that because reading skills are the foundation of all learning, children who lack these vital skills have little hope of succeeding in school or life. The agency began with two dedicated employees offering a single tutoring program in one Birmingham City school. Other related programs developed over the years through partnerships with community groups such as the Junior League of Birmingham and Rotaract. In 1998, the United Way of Central Alabama honored our achievements by making us a member agency. In 2009, the Belser-Parton Literacy Center at The University of Alabama conducted a program evaluation which found Better Basics to be an “…exemplary model of a non-profit literacy service provider.”
Today, we offer our full range of youth literacy programs with over 500 volunteers, fifteen full and part-time staff members, and numerous seasonal employees. Better Basics, a 501(c)(3) agency, continues the legacy of equipping children with the tools to become lifelong learners in order to achieve our vision of a more literate community.