On Thursday, June 4, UHY LLP’s Michigan practice invited a group of students from Thirkell Elementary in Detroit to their Farmington Hills office to help them develop stories for the Beyond Basics Publishing Center. UHY teamed up with Beyond Basics, a local 501c(3) nonprofit organization working to improve literacy and raise reading proficiency in inner city schools, to host students to help improve reading comprehension and expand the students’ vocabularies.
Nearly 20 college recruits and other UHY employees gathered at UHY’s training facility to help students from Mrs. Jackson’s third grade class write their own personal stories. Each volunteer was assigned a student to mentor for the day. The recruits started by getting to know the students. With this information, the students created a short story that was designed to enhance vocabulary and sharpen writing skills. After the stories were written, each student was able to pick a book of their choice and read to their “buddy” or mentor.
As a result, 16 new stories were created for the Beyond Basics Publishing Center. This community event was part of UHY’s Connect program. The program allows college recruits to get to know more about the organization, work with UHY employees, and experience some of the corporate social responsibility initiatives UHY takes part in. Both the students and UHY recruits benefited greatly from the experience.
“We have been working with Beyond Basics for the past four years, pairing our interns and college recruits with students from Detroit Public Schools. The objective of this program is to not only help strengthen the reading and writing skills of elementary school students but to also give our interns and recruits an understanding of UHY’s commitment to giving back to the community and experiencing a volunteer outing first hand," said Rina Henning, UHY LLP recruiting manager.
UHY LLP places great emphasis on being active within the community from each recruits’ first connection with the firm because corporate social responsibility is a high priority at all levels within the company. The firm also has its own independent 501c(3) organization, UHY Cares. Cares, which was incorporated over five years ago, was an idea inspired by employees and is volunteer based. Through UHY Cares, employees are able to give back to the community, including helping individuals going through personal emergencies or hardships. UHY Cares Michigan has provided assistance to over 150 local charities and families and continues to grow this list every year.
Beyond basics has been active in the Detroit community since 1999.Their mission is to guide and support children in economic need to develop fundamental educational skills. They aim to move these children beyond the basics and prepare them for productive and meaningful lives. The work the organization does, shaping the minds of grade school children, is especially important because nearly 50% of adults in Detroit are considered functionally illiterate.
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