Our History

Fall 1998

Members of First Covenant Church to called together community leaders to explore prospective solutions to helping neighborhood students who were struggling in reading.

Fall 1998

Luis Santana, current Executive Director of Reading And Beyond, was asked to lead the endeavor.  Learn more about Luis

March 1999

Fresno Covenant Foundation (now Reading And Beyond) was established as a 501(c)3 with $20,000 seed money from First Covenant Church.

September 1999

Literacy tutoring and parent programs were launched with 30 families matched with 30 volunteers from First Covenant Church.

Fall 2001

With a grant from Fresno Unified School District, our literacy tutoring program was expanded from just one site at First Covenant Church to five new sites.  Learn more

May 2003:

Executive Director Luis Santana and Board Chair Don Larson received recognition from Fresno Unified School District as a “model for other organizations.”

October 2003

We were one of only four organizations to receive national funding from the U.S. Department of Education to develop our Early Childhood Education program into a replicable model.  Learn more

March 2004

Through the PIMEC program, we purchased a specially designed recreational vehicle (RV) to serve as our Mobile Classroom for parent outreach and workshops.  View PHOTOS

August 2004

Our after-school/literacy intervention program was expanded to include over 500 additional students at five school-based sites.

April 2006

Our Board of Directors launched a strategic planning process.

September 2006

We coordinated a Parent Involvement Summit, with U.S. Department of Education guest speaker Morgan Brown.

December 2007

Upward Bound, our college preparation program, began in partnership with Central Unified School District.  Learn more

December 2007

Fresno Covenant Foundation changed its name to Reading and Beyond to better represent our mission.

August 2008

A partnership was made with Butler Mennonite Church to operate Small World Preschool.  Learn more

October 2008

Our administrative office was moved to Southeast Fresno and was commemorated with an open house.  View PHOTOS

December 2008

Kerri Briggs, U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, visited and recognized Reading and Beyond as a “remarkable example of impact that faith-based organizations have in a community.”

March 2009

Reading and Beyond celebrated its 10th Birthday!  View PHOTOS

June 2009

Luis Santana receives James Irvine Foundation statewide leadership award “for advancing innovative and effective solutions to critical state issues”.  Luis is the first person from the Central Valley to be honored with this award.  View PHOTOS

October 2009

We opened five childcare facilities in Fresno, Selma, and Coalinga for families receiving County services.  Learn more

May 2010

Reading And Beyond launched a workforce development program called "Fresno Bridge Academy" in partnership with FIFUL (Fresno Institute for Urban Leadership), and funded by Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board, Economic Opportunities Commission, and AT&T.   Learn more

October 2010

Reading And Beyond began running the Einstein Park Neighborhood Center, formerly run by the City of Fresno.  The center offers literacy tutoring, arts and crafts, fitness activities, and homework help.

April 2011 - ELL Conference

We held our first conference for parents of English Language Learners (ELL) at the Mosqueda Community Center, with a great turnout of over 165 parents.  The conference was part of the English Language Learner Advocacy (ELLA) Program funded by the James Irvine Foundation through Families in Schools (FIS).  View PHOTOS  |  Learn more

October 2011 - Moved to Mosqueda

Reading and Beyond moved to the Mosqueda Community Center in Southeast Fresno, creating a one-stop-shop facility in partnership with the City of Fresno.  An open house event was held, where Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin led the ribbon-cutting.  View PHOTOS

December 2011 - Promise Neighborhood Grant

The U.S. Department of Education announced that they were awarding Reading and Beyond a Promise Neighborhood planning grant, which was just under $500,000.  Reading and Beyond will utilize the grant in the Lowell-Jefferson-Webster neighborhood.  Learn more