Child reading a book  

Ozarks Literacy Council seeks to improve literacy rates for children and adults in the Ozarks region. Ozarks Literacy Council provides books to children and adults in the community, and it also offers free tutoring sessions. The council operates on the principle that making a difference begins with changing the life of one individual. Therefore, one-on-one instruction is a fundamental value for the organization, which works with a wide range of volunteers to give program participants the personalized attention and education they need to reach their literacy goals.

About Ozarks Literacy Council

Ozarks Literacy Council started in 1968. Inspired by a speaker at a local church in Springfield, the council was launched through the Springfield Area Council of Churches initiative. The Council of Churches created the Springfield Area Literacy Council, followed by a Council charter adopted in November 1968. In 1979, about a decade after the council was formed, its tutoring program was officially launched. Tutor training sessions were held at Evangel College in Springfield. An impressive number of 30 volunteers offered to act as tutors, which led to the formation of the Literacy Council's tutor-led instruction program. Later that year, the council's partner organization, United Way, provided funding to help the council upon an office downtown.

Assorted collection of books  

With its tutoring program's success and its in-person instruction, Ozarks Literacy Council rapidly expanded its outreach over the next 12 years. By the early 1990s, the council's services extended to nearly a dozen surrounding counties. In 1992, Ozarks Literacy Council had over 180 volunteers and a core base of 54 tutors. Collectively, they provided literacy skills to 192 adults. Ozarks Literacy Council then partnered with Missouri State University in 2003 to create several childhood education programs for its younger learners. The council celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018 with its volunteers and program participants. Each child in the program received a free book to take home.


Today, Ozarks Literacy Council continues to provide popular and successful literary programs for all ages. Programs are free for children and adults. Tutors work with program participants to help them accomplish their individual literacy goals. For children, that may include reaching a grade-appropriate reading level. Adults can work with a tutor to prepare for the literary proficiency requirements necessary to obtain a high school diploma or a college degree. Participants of all ages can also work with their tutor to practice reading and generally gain confidence in their abilities.

For more information about Ozarks Literacy Council, visit the organization online.

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