Ozarks Literacy Council promotes literacy in Southwest Missouri by offering free one-on-one tutoring and a variety of literacy programs.
Donors, sponsors, and partners make it possible for Ozarks Literacy Council to encourage literacy throughout the Ozarks. Your support helps us provide free tutoring, books to schoolchildren, and low-literacy prevention programs. Making a difference starts with one willing individual. Your support empowers someone’s future through literacy.
On November 7, 1968, Dr. Frank Laubach spoke at University Heights Baptist Church in Springfield. The Springfield Area Council of Churches sponsored the meeting. As a result, the Springfield Area Literacy Council was formed. The council’s charter was adopted on November 14, 1968.
In February of 1969, the first tutor training was held at Evangel College with Onita Beucher of Kansas City as the tutor trainer. Thirty tutors were certified and the Laubach “Each One Teach One” training began.
Until United Way funding was acquired in 1979, the agency operated from private homes and churches. United Way funding allowed for a small office downtown and a part-time secretary.
In 1992, we changed our name to the Ozarks Literacy Council, and expanded services to include learners in 11 surrounding counties in Southwest Missouri. We trained 54 new tutors making a total of 183 volunteers and served 192 adult learners.
With help from MSU’s Early Childhood Education Department, the lesson format for Pre-Literacy and Wonder Years was formed.
OLC partners with The Springfield Community Center to kick-off Books Come Alive.
In 2013 Ozarks Literacy Council and the Springfield-Greene County Library District entered into a lease agreement for office space at the Midtown-Carnegie Branch Library at 397 E Central St. This location has been ideal for OLC. The library to refers patrons to our services, provides space for regular training sessions, and reserves rooms for tutoring sessions.
2018 marked the 50th year of the Ozarks Literacy Council. OLC continues to serve the literacy needs of the community by offering three programs. Our main program of one on one literacy tutoring educated 193 students in 2018. We have generous volunteers that read to 32 Springfield preschool classrooms and sent a new book home with each child. Our social advocacy keeps us engaged in the community through public events such as Neighborhood Night Out, Juneteenth, Backpack programs and more.