Since its founding in 1985, STAIR has made a difference in the lives of more than 8,500 second and third graders from Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parish public elementary schools. Over almost four decades, thousands of community volunteers have donated their time and talents to serve as reading tutors, testers and workday helpers. Despite Hurricane Katrina, Covid-19, and a re-organized public school system, the STAIR program has maintained its preeminence as one of the most effective children’s literacy programs for students, parents and guardians, family members, teachers and principals in the New Orleans area. 

Third grade is a critical turning point in a child's educational development. Through third grade, children learn to read; after third grade, children read to learn. STAIR students are matched with a dedicated volunteer for weekly tutoring sessions.  These one-on-one tutoring sessions are tailored to each individual student's ability. STAIR is offered to families at no charge.

Building relationships between the student and tutor is key to what we do. Each child works with the same tutor every week and receives caring, undivided attention during the session. They read together, play word games, complete writing exercises, and practice basic literacy skills such as phonics and vocabulary. Our mission is to improve the lives and opportunities of New Orleans' children through the joy of reading, one relationship at a time.

Photos provided by StairNola.