The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

March 25, 2014

Our View: Support NALA

There are plenty of great local places to donate money and be assured that your charity is going to the right place.

One of our favorites is holding its main fundraiser tonight. Joplin Neighborhood Adult Literacy Action Read will hold its annual Spell Ball, pitting 15 teams against each other.

It’s fun, and there will be concessions, a silent auction and good-natured rivalry.

Out of all Missourians, 7 percent can’t read. In Jasper County, about 7,000 residents read below the sixth-grade level. That means they might get by, but they sure can’t get ahead.

The nonprofit organization NALA Read provides tuition-free literacy and tutoring services to the Joplin area, director Marj Boudreaux told us.

Tonight’s event helps pay for needs, such as buying books for clients, or operating expenses, such as utilities and salaries. It will begin at 6 p.m. at the 11/12 campus of Joplin High School, located at Northpark Mall. Admission is free, but those putting on the event hope you will bid on silent auction items or make a donation.

Boudreaux told us that Joplin NALA Read serves about 150 individuals per year. If you don’t have money to give, NALA Read will gladly accept your donation of time. The organization is planning a training workshop in April for people who are interested in volunteering as a teacher or a tutor.

We search far and wide for ways to improve our community. Sometimes it is as simple as teaching someone to read.

Benjamin Franklin, in his wisdom, diagnosed the curse of being illiterate:

“The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.”

Fortunately, there’s a group that’s willing to change that. You can help.

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