One key partnership within the education ministry of Christian Service Mission is STAIR Birmingham. STAIR is on a mission to improve reading skills and self-esteem of second graders through one-on-one tutoring. Reading proficiency by the third grade is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success. Unfortunately, 80% of children in the city of Birmingham miss this crucial milestone every year. With the help of dedicated volunteer tutors, STAIR is now serving 170 students with 91% success in reading score increase.

STAIR is now serving 170 students with 91% success in reading score increase.

Norman Dixon, CSM Special Projects Manager, and CSM Staff Volunteer Director, Michael Bowen, and CSM spring semester intern, Matt Azemar, poured into the students as tutors at Oliver Elementary School this year. Norman’s wife and retired educator Janet Dixon is the acting STAIR Birmingham Director, and Norman also serves as the STAIR Assistant Director.

The recent graduates of the program were recently recognized in a year-end ceremony, indicually addressed by their tutor. As well, all the college graduating tutors were presented with a copy of the book, “Oh the Places You will go” by Dr. Seuss, a perfect send-off!