The mission of STAIR of Birmingham is to improve the reading skills and self-esteem of second graders. 


STAIR is an after school reading program which seeks to help second grade children become strong readers for third grade.

In the fall of every school year, STAIR works with the Birmingham City Schools to identify second graders who could benefit from our program. These students attend school regularly and their teachers believe that with one-on-one help from a trained tutor, their reading skills will improve and blossom. Children come to STAIR two times each week October through April. We teach reading skills. We do not help with homework or branch into other areas of education. All tutoring is done by trained volunteers who use a nationally recognized curriculum.

From October through April from 3:00-5:00, two days each week after school, STAIR students attend our program where tutors work with their students to complete the lessons included in 5 units of reading instruction. The volunteer tutor and child read together, play word games, practice phonics and write stories. During the course of the school year, the students develop reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills. To date, 100% of students who complete the STAIR program improve their reading test scores.  Students who graduate from STAIR consisently show an average rate of improvement of over 100% on the standardized tests given by the schools.

Volunteers work with the same student each week to create a solid bond with the child. 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. The hundreds of individuals who volunteer their time and talent for this program understand that one of the most important aspects of a young child's early academic development is the ability to read and comprehend.   


STAIR uses a step-by-step professionally detailed program designed to enhance the curriculum of the public schools. STAIR supplies the students with reading practice booklets, workbooks, and basic supplies such as pencils, crayons, glue sticks, and flashcards; books to read and dictionaries also are provided. Many sites also provide a lending library for students.


6th Avenue Baptist Church--Tuesday/Thursday--serves Hemphill K-5 School in West End

45th Street Baptist Church --Tuesday/Wednesday – serves Barrett K-8 School in East Lake

Avondale United Methodist Church--Monday/Wednesday--serves Avondale K-5 School

Bethel Baptist Church--Monday/Wednesday--serves Hudson K-8 School in Collegeville.

Greater New Antioch Baptist Church —Tuesday/Thursday—serves Bush K-8 School in Ensley

IPC – Monday/Wednesday--serves Hayes K-8 School in North Avondale
IPC – Tuesday/Thursday--serves Hayes K-8 School in North Avondale

Lewis K-5 School--Tuesday/Thursday--held at the school. Tutor recruiting is a joint effort between the Norwood Resource Center and St Luke’s Episcopal Church.  The school is in North Birmingham.

Oliver K-8--Monday/Wednesday--held at the school.  This site is
sponsored by the Christian Service Mission.

South Hampton K-8 School--Tuesday/Wednesday--held at the school.  This site is sponsored by South Highland Presbyterian Church.

Washington K-8 --Wednesday/Thursday--held at the school in Titusville.