The Ozarks Literacy Council (OLC) spreads literacy awareness by strategically placing books in the hands of children who need them most and by engaging the community at local events. Making the OLC’s presence known throughout the Ozarks emphasizes the importance of literacy not just for children but for everyone. Whether it’s simply reading books to children at a community event or being an active participant in the United Way’s Day of Caring, the OLC strives to make every person a reader.
Each weekend, school districts in Southwest Missouri send children from low-income households home with a backpack full of food to ensure they have enough to eat until Monday when they return to school. The OLC adds an extra gift to the backpacks several times during the school year.
“The backpack program serves higher risk kiddos. Because we serve higher-risk kids, it’s safe to assume that they do not have access to books at home- which is so important. The whole family, especially younger siblings, benefit from the books.” Brooke Ash, Caring Communities Program Director, 2016
FACT: Students who cannot read on grade level by 3rd grade are four times less likely to graduate.
OLC participates in many events to increase literacy skills and promote reading advocacy. Through community outreach and support from the United Way, the OLC can put books in empty hands. OLC regularly participates in: The United Way’s Day of Caring, Community Wide Play Day, Make a Difference Day, and Candy Land, among others.