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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Instilling in Kids a Love for Literacy


In the Midtown neighborhood of Springfield, the Ujima literacy program is helping to improve children’s literacy.

Ujima, a Swahili word that means collective work and responsibility, is an effort made possible by several organizations. They include Missouri State University, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield NAACP, Springfield-Greene County Library, Parents as Teachers and the Bartley-Decatur Neighborhood Center.

Ujima started in summer 2016 as a literacy camp for children in the early grades. Since then, it has grown, and includes a monthly program for infants, toddlers and elementary students. 

Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate, Ujima director and associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at MSU, and her graduate assistant Lindsey Lower, explain about the program and its impact.

Read the full transcript

To find out how you get involved with Ujima, contact Thomas-Tate at 417-836-6878.