Mission + Values



Our mission is to foster and strengthen literacy skills enabling learners to reach their full potential.


To close the book on illiteracy.


1. Recruit and tutor adults who need help in reading, writing, math and/or English as a Second Language.
2. Recruit and train volunteers.
3. Provide programs to increase the family’s awareness of the value of reading.
4. Promote literacy awareness.
5. Coordinate with community resources.

Watch our video to learn more about the history of Joplin NALA Read.


Joplin NALA Read is positioned to enable learners to reach their full potential and that is a sound investment in both the present and the future, because it helps adults right now while laying the foundation for the future success of their children. 

About Joplin NALA Read

We are a non-profit committed to the mission of fostering and strengthening literacy skills and coordinating with community resources to provide services, enabling learners to reach their full potential. 

There are 30 million adults in America who read just well enough to sign a form or total a bank deposit slip, but not much more.  Another 63 million read only slightly better.  Even more alarming is the fact that 11 million adults in America are nonliterate in English.  In Jasper and Newton County this translates to over 11,000 illiterate adults.  Compounding that, a child who grows up in a home with one illiterate parent is twice as likely to be illiterate, do poorly in school, and perhaps drop out.

It is vital to call attention to the problem of illiteracy.  But even more essential is the need to reach the people who need help in overcoming their illiteracy.  Research shows that children achieve superior outcomes in school and in life when they receive literacy support outside the classroom.  This support consistently results in higher graduation rates, increased future earning potential, and improved quality of life. By helping adults increase their basic skills and understand the importance of literacy, we are helping adults reach their full potential and access all their options in life while strengthening the literacy support for children.

Joplin NALA (Neighborhood Adult Literacy Action) Read, a non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) literacy council organized in 1981, is an accredited member of ProLiteracy Worldwide. We are committed to the mission of fostering and strengthening literacy skills enabling learners to reach their full potential.  We accomplish our mission by recruiting and tutoring adults who need help in reading, math, and/or English as a second language (ESL), recruiting volunteers, training tutors, providing programs to increase the family’s awareness of the value of reading, and developing partnerships in the community.  We match students and tutors to give one-on-one instruction in reading or math and offer classes in English for our second language students.

Joplin NALA Read will serve at least 160 adult students this program year through our literacy and ESL programs.  Last year 48 volunteer tutors delivered over 1800 hours of instruction allowing our students to log over 4600 hours of guided learning.  In addition we will serve 40 families through our Family Literacy programs.  We are fortunate to have the support of many individuals, organizations and volunteers, enabling us to provide literacy programs at no charge to the student.  Tutoring adults who need to learn to read, teaching English to people from other countries (ESL) and raising awareness to the value of reading – all require more funds than we have from our usual sources.  Knowing our outreach exceeds our resources, yet realizing the literacy needs surrounding us, we look to the community in which we serve to help bridge the gap between income and expenses.