In 2011, Eastside Youth Strong, decided to take a proactive role in supporting students academically with the Individual Student Services (ISS). Working with the Principal, teachers and parents at Northeastern Elementary, a Kalamazoo Public School, serving over 300, 1st through 5th graders from the Eastside and Eastwood neighborhoods, literacy tutoring has been provided to 1st and 2nd graders at the intensive level of reading.
In 2012, Eastside Youth Strong partnered with SLD Read, an organization that has provided services since 1974. SLD Read has an incredible record of developing struggling readers to confident and successful readers, to provide one on one tutoring through the third grade. In addition, Eastside Youth Strong partnered with Western Michigan University Occupational Therapy Department to provide additional literacy support by assessing learning styles and sensory activities. Ten 1st graders were identified as the first ISS students in 2012, and with the support of parents, teachers, tutors and the hard work of each student all students are third graders and are at grade level reading.