Benefiting Organizations

Springfield Regional Arts Council

411 N. Sherman
Springfield, MO 65802

Established in 1978, the Springfield Regional Arts Council’s mission is “to transform lives and enrich the community through the Arts.” SRAC brings arts education to the community through workshops, seminars, in-school programs and arts adventure trips while promoting local art through the Art in Public Places program and events such as Artsfest on Walnut Street and First Night Springfield. SRAC has also established artist studio facilities and gallery space downtown and provides arts organizations with rehearsal, display, storage, office and and performance space at The Creamery Arts Center. SRAC’s efforts led to Springfield’s being designated a 2009 Missouri Creative Community.

Family Literacy Centers of the Ozarks

Family Literacy Centers of the Ozarks operates in collaboration with Missouri State University and Springfield Community Centers, as well as Drury University and Ozarks Literacy Center, serving children pre-kindergarten and up. Family Literacy Centers places programs in community centers instead of educational institutions, reaching families where they live. Funded by the Community Foundation and donations, the program includes two veteran educators – Rosalyn Thomas and program founder Charlie Johnson – and preservice teachers, as well as university speech language pathology students who screen for speech language issues. Screening for learning disabilities is to be added in the future. Educators attached to the program are very direct with parents and don’t soft pedal the issue – a child is not OK if that child is not literate. Family Literacy Centers is interested in expanding into any area where the program can affect families, because literacy is a family issue. The relationship with the family is developed through the child’s involvement. In many cases, school was not a positive experience for the parents when they were children, so taking the program out of the school setting helps create a comfort zone that encourages parent involvement. The program started in 2007, working closely with Springfield Public Schools and Dr. Quinn in the Office of Diversity.

Ozarks Literacy Council

430 South Ave., Ste. 200
Springfield, MO 65806

Ozarks Literacy Council, in operation for 41 years, began with a focus on adult literacy and still provides adult tutoring, but it is now emphasizing literacy education for children 3-7. Officially serving 11 counties, OLC actually reaches learners in 15 counties, and its services are provided free of charge. A United Way Agency, it receives approximately 20 percent of its budget from United Way. OLC’s budget is growing yearly, from $144,000 last year to $159,000 in 2008. From its first project – working with the Kiwanis Club to provide books for special needs children – to Books Come Alive, where the written page is brought to life through interactive, multisensory experiences, Ozarks Literacy Council has collaborated with community groups and agencies to meet community needs. The Special Needs and Title I Wonder Years program reaches approximately 435 children monthly, while OLC’s See Me Read project provided books and family literacy packets to 965 low-income second graders. With Convoy of Hope, OLC distributed 2,000 books in 2006, and it is looking to work with Parents As Teachers on literacy education. OLC clients include children, adults working to obtain citizenships or GEDs, parents and grandparents who want to be able to read to a child, and people who want to better their job opportunities.

Writers Hall of Fame of America

P.O. Box 6022
Springfield, MO 65801

Laynah Rogers, a charter member of the Writers Hall of Fame executive board, noted that WHF is born of passion for the joy of writing, encouraging writing through grassroots activities, scholarships and programs. Established in 1994, WHF holds yearly induction ceremonies recognizing the contributions of writers and promoting writing among young people. WHF’s writing scholarships are awarded in association with the LAD Fair. The Language Arts Department Fair serves students in grades 5-12, and WHF awards eight $500 writing scholarships to 12th graders identified through LAD competition.