At the Springfield Community Center this afternoon, more than a dozen kids learned about Black History Month.
It's an example of how the Ozarks Literacy Council is doing more with less
There's something about books that make us want to know more.
"The zoo comes in and does a program and then we read about animals," Paula Shumaker of the Ozarks Literacy Council says. "We've had the fire chief come with his fire trucks."
These modern kids are stepping back in time to learn about Martin Luther King, Jr., from his mother.
"We try to think, okay, we have less money, how are we still going to get the end results, what do we need to do differently," Shumaker says.
The Ozarks Literacy Council is hitting the books and doing its homework to see if it can come up with more money for events like this one.
"It used to be maybe one program for children was funded by one foundation," Shumaker says. "Now that same program might be three or four foundations."'
Because even though more foundations are donating, their checks are smaller.
"Instead of maybe a $5,000 grant you may get a $1,000 grant," Shumaker says.
She says it's not just big corporate donors hurting. Individuals are watching what they spend and cutting non-profits from their budgets.
"What people don't realize is, maybe they don't have $100, but maybe they have $10," she says. "And that might buy three or four books for one of our programs."
She says non-profits with similar interests, like encouraging kids to read, are pooling that money to sponsor events.
"We're trying to be smarter about it and be good stewards of the money we do get," she says.
The same thing books will teach these students.
Everyone likes this word lately: free. Something we can all do for free is clean out our home libraries and donate those books. You can call the Ozarks Literacy Council at (417) 895-5632.
Shumaker says if you do your homework, you'll find there are free ways at every non-profit to help those in need.