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Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC) is a not-for-profit agency working toward alleviating the causes and conditions of poverty in the Ozarks. OACAC serves Barry, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Lawrence, Polk, Stone, Taney and Webster Counties. 

OACAC offers seven programs: Family Planning, Foster Grandparents, Head Start, Housing, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), Neighborhood Centers and Weatherization.
As part of a nationwide network of Community Action Agencies, OACAC continues to fight poverty with new and innovative programs and expanded services for children through Head Start and Early Head Start.
From developing programs for families to initiating community projects, OACAC is committed to making the Ozarks a better place to live and work for all residents.


May 30, 2014

You may have noticed that OACAC recently updated our logo to introduce our new web address (OAC.AC).  We like our new color scheme and have incorporated part of our mission into the tag line.  We are also positioning OACAC to be a high-functioning mobile web experience. Please bookmark us at OAC.AC.


Come join the fun at the Ozark Mountain Monopoly Tournament October 25, 2014!

OMM Logo




And Silent Auction Sponsored by
Stone County OACAC Neighborhood Center

10:00am Saturday, October 25, 2014
Best Western Branson Inn and Conference Center
Next to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri




First 120 registrations guaranteed to play!

Ages 14 and up.

For more information on this exciting event, please contact:




OACAC Greene County Center Scavenger Hunt Raised $2,326.00 to help families in crisis

Congratulations to Taco Salad for taking first place at the Greene County Scavenger Hunt on September 27 in Springfield, MO.  Thanks to the support of our sponsors and participants the scavenger hunt raised $2,326.00 to help families in Greene County who are in an emergency crisis situation.

Did they have fun?  We think so!

Thanks to all of the hard work of the OACAC Greene County Center Advisory Board Members for hosting this great event and for our partners in business. 

Our Sponsors:

Gold -
Peck's Insurance & Financial Services
American Business Systems

Silver -
Bearden's Carpet

Bronze -
A-1 Electric
Bertsch Heating & Air


OACAC hosted REALL Simulation Facilitator's Training September 11-12, 2014

The OACAC Neighborhood Centers staff hosted a Reality Enrichment And Life Lessons (REALL) Simulation facilitator training September 11-12, 2014 at 215 S. Barnes Avenue, Springfield for Missouri-based Community Action Agencies interested in challenging youth to consider how the choices they make now may result in challenges in adulthood. Approximately 40 participants from 10 agencies attended.  As part of their training, participants experienced a REALL Simulation at Great Circle on Friday, September 12.  Participating agencies were provided a jump drive with the REALL Simulation Kit to utilize in their communities.

Training was facilitated by Meghan Visser, Jennifer Olson, Darla Boice and Melannie Frater, all whom are staff in the OACAC Neighborhood Center Program.  The Community Action Agencies that attended the training were: Community Action Agency of St. Louis County (CAASTLC), Community Action Partnership of St. Joseph (CAPSTJOE), Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA), East Missouri Action Agency (EMAA), Jefferson-Franklin Community Action Corporation (JFCAC), Missouri Valley Community Action Agencies (MVCAA), North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC), Ozark Action, Inc. (OAI), and People’s Community Action Corporation (PCAC).  A participant from the Missouri Association for Community Action (MACA) was also in attendance.

The Reality Enrichment and Life Lessons (R.E.A.L.L.) project is a simulation designed to challenge youth to think critically about how choices and decisions made in adolescence may have consequences in adulthood.  The R.E.A.L.L. Simulation addresses many of the competencies identified by the Missouri State Board of Education:
• Identify components and sources of income
• Analyze how career choice, education, skills, and economic conditions affect income and goal attainment
• Relate taxes, government transfer payments, and employee benefits to disposable income
• Explain how financial resources affect the choices people make

A  R.E.A.L.L. Simulation is divided into three activity sessions that strive to educate youth on the consequences of their choices.  The simulation lasts approximately three hours.

First, the Orientation will explain the simulation rules and expectations.  In the second session youth assume an identity and live by the choices that person made.  Then, during the Reactive Session, participants may be high school drop-outs, felons (usually drug or alcohol related), single parents or unemployed job seekers. Very few have bank accounts and are forced into utilizing check-cashing facilities and pay-day loans, and those few that even have a job find it a daunting task to pay their bills and keep their families fed. Those who are unemployed are faced with a scenario of going out and looking for work while trying to make ends meet, and those who are felons are turned down for jobs due to “corporate policy not to hire ex-offenders.”   This simulated activity leaves them frustrated with trying to figure out how to financially provide for their families and they realize how hard it is to depend on social services to supplemental the need to feed, clothe and house themselves and their loved ones. 

During the Proactive Session youth take on the persona of someone who has graduated high school, have additional training or have higher education degrees.  Most have bank accounts, well-paying jobs and the ability to easily pay their monthly expenses and achieve self-sufficiency, while still being able to afford entertainment activities, such as going to the movies and out to dinner.  Some do so well that they can even afford to purchase a new family car!  Obviously, round two leaves participants much less frustrated with the day-to-day financial aspects of life. This session shows them that making good life choices can lead to living a proactive and less stressful life.

Finally, during the Debriefing Session, youth reflect on their experiences as a person who made poor decisions and one who made good choices. They discuss how the decisions they make right now in their lives can affect their futures for years to come. One participant shared, “Dropping out affects you very much.  You will earn less pay…”  OACAC is dedicated to helping today’s youth understand the consequences poor decisions can have on one’s life and is committed to helping them make proactive choices to ensure that they have happy, self-sufficient futures.

OACAC Neighborhood Centers will offer training to schools and community organizations at a later date.  Training is required to access the copyrighted materials to host a simulation.  OACAC has 35 REALL Simulations scheduled on the ten-county area for the 2014-2015 school year.

For more information on a REALL Simulation, email REALL@oacac-caa.org

15 Read Aloud Tips for Babies and Toddlers

Please take a look at these 15 tips to help prepare your child for reading and learning.

Springfield Grocer Company, Inc. recognized as a MACA Outstanding Community Partner

A Big Thank You to Springfield Grocer Company, Inc. for their support and partnership of OACAC.  Springfield Grocer Company, Inc. was presented with the MACA Outstanding Community Partner Award by the OACAC Area Board of Directors and Head Start Policy Council on July 29, 2014.  Jeff Tynes, President/CEO and Eric Beebe, National Account Executive attended the meeting to receive the award. 

Springfield Grocer Company, Inc. is incredibly generous of their resources not only to OACAC, but also to other nonprofits in our community and truly embodies what it means to be partners in philanthropy.  Read More!

From Left to Right: Eric Beebe, Jeff Tynes, and Tony Delong,
OACAC Area Board President

OACAC Head Start Recruitment Underway

Date: July 30, 2014

OACAC Head Start is now accepting applications for its Head Start program for enrollment beginning in September. Head Start is a high quality preschool/childcare program for young children.  For your child, Head Start provides medical and dental care, meals, bus transportation (half-day centers only) and a great learning experience!  Transportation assistance is available for families to attend Head Start Activities.   Head Start invites children with disabilities to participate in all aspects of the program.  Full day, extended day or half-day sessions are available.  Families who meet income guidelines and whose children are 3 or 4 before August 1, 2014 are eligible to apply.  4-year olds receive priority along with Foster children and children receiving TANF and SSI. 

OACAC Head Start is located in the ten-county area including Barry, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Greene, Lawrence, Polk, Stone, Taney, and Webster Counties.

For more information on Head Start or the application process, please call your local Head Start or the central office toll free 1-866-282-3430.

Regions donates $1,000 to OACAC Taney County Neighborhood Center

A BIG THANK YOU to Regions Financial Corporation for donating $1,000 to OACAC Taney County Neighborhood Center to assist low-income families in crisis situations.  Stephanie Rutledge, Consumer Sales Manager, Greg Ritchie, Branson Branch Manager and Ron Hawley, Market President presented the check to Melannie Frater on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.  We appreciate your partnership and commitment to our local communties!

Foster Grandparents care for area students

During the school year you will find Ann Wilson at the OACAC Cassville Head Start reading stories, playing games, giving hugs, and putting together puzzles to a class of students.  Click here to read the whole story published by Republicmonews.com.

OACAC Foster Grandparents need volunteers to work with children at schools, day cares, Head Start Centers and youth centers in their community. Age 55+. Please call 864-3420 for information.


OACAC News/Events

Updated on October 14, 2014

Updates on proposed budget cuts to Community Action Programs