We seek to unlock the life-changing power of literacy for every willing learner

Donors, sponsors, and partners make it possible for Ozarks Literacy Council to encourage literacy throughout the Ozarks. Your support helps us provide free tutoring as well as books to adults and children in our community. Making a difference starts with one willing individual. Your support empowers someone’s future through literacy.

Amy Jardell


Amy Jardell earned a Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership degree from Drury University. She has been with OLC since Nov 2018. Amy is responsible for fundraising, donor relations, community partnerships and the day-to-day management of OLC.

Janelle Andrus

program DIRECTOR

Janelle Andrus has a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a Master’s and Specialist Degree in Educational Administration from MSU. She also has a Doctorate from the University of Missouri in Program Analysis and Leadership. She was an elementary teacher and principal for 28 years. Janelle is responsible for managing OLC curriculum, tutors, and students and has been with OLC since Nov. 2016.  


Our volunteer board is a diverse group of professionals dedicated to our mission

President, Dana Mallory, Jack Henry and Associates

Vice President, Emily Reese, BKD

Treasurer, Abigail James-O’Quinn, James Financial Partners

Secretary, Jennifer Johnmeyer, Andy’s Frozen Custard, Freelance by Jen

Immediate Past President, Casey Daughtery, Republic Missouri Schools

Rachel Campbell, Jordan Valley Health Center

Jami Dressler, Arvest Bank

Tony Gunn Jr., St. Louis Mental Health Board

Tracy Haertling, Mercy

Reggie Harris, Jack Henry & Associates & Harris Multifaceted

Sarah Kerner, City of Springfield

Audra Lehman, Code Ninjas

Eva Pelkey, Springfield Greene County Library

Zach Troutman, Arc of the Ozarks




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 that year. The final total of volunteer tutors was 184, they helped us serve 192 adult learners.


The Pre-literacy program started because of a Special Needs Teacher with Springfield Public Schools.  She told us about her kids and how they didn’t have books in their homes.  She created an interactive program to go with specially selected books. After board approval, we got this pilot program funded by Ozarks Empire Kiwanis. We partnered with  Leadership Springfield to have members read for the pilot year to the Special Needs Classrooms. This was the spring of 2003. 
From then on The Darr Family Foundation funded the Pre-Literacy Program each year. After the first year, we had volunteers reading for each classroom four times a year.  


OLC partners with The Springfield Community Center to kick-off Books Come Alive. This program featured community professionals as volunteer readers. They would visit classrooms to read and share information about their profession.


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