Interim Executive Director


Johnny Jeffords (jjeffords [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is the Interim Executive Director for Literacy Mid-South. Johnny comes into this work with gratitude after a 33-year career in pastoral ministry in The United Methodist Church.  With over 25 years of service in Memphis, Johnny joins Literacy Mid-South experienced in helping people realize their call to be in service to others.  He is thrilled to come alongside the amazing team and important work of LMS to help further its mission. He holds a B.A. from Memphis State University, an M Div. from The Divinity School at Vanderbilt University, and a D Min. from Wesley Theological Seminary, in Washington D.C. Johnny has three grown sons and two beautiful granddaughters (with a third due to debut this fall).

Director of Development

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Amanda Cook (acook [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) brings over twenty years of experience in nonprofit management to Literacy Mid-South. She has over ten years of development experience in grants and major gifts and five years of experience conducting program evaluations and coordinating volunteers. In addition, she has developed and implemented anti-bullying programs for children ages 2 - 14, which use age-appropriate literature to engage students in anti-bullying and emotional regulation strategies. She has led anti-bullying workshops in seven states for teachers and nonprofit program staff. In addition, her programs have been featured in Memphis Parent Magazine and the Commercial Appeal.

Adult Program Director

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Stacy Early (searly [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is the Adult Program Director for Literacy Mid-South. Stacy previously worked in the marketing department at Whole Foods where she leveraged community partnerships with local nonprofits for the company's 5% Day fundraisers and hosted the first ever 10% Day. Stacy has also served on the marketing committee for the Memphis Farmer's Market and as Vice Chair of the board of Mid-South Spay and Neuter services. Stacy has completed certificate courses in Community Organizing from Mid-South Peace and Justice Center and in Plant Based Nutrition from ECornell. She has her Associate's Degree in Graphic Design, bachelors in Professional Studies, and is a certified trainer by ProLiteracy and a certified English Forward Trainer by the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas.

Director of Education

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Elisabeth F. Lee (elee [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is Director of Education for Literacy Mid-South.  A native Memphian, Elisabeth has worked as a classroom teacher and interventionist in independent, charter, and public schools in Memphis, New Orleans, and Florida serving at-risk urban populations and students with disabilities. Elisabeth has designed and implemented reading intervention programs and provided professional development for classroom teachers in language arts instruction. She has volunteered with a number of community organizations including Habitat for Humanity and Communities in Schools.   Elisabeth received her BA in Sociology from Loyola University and her MAT from Christian Brothers University.

Director of Community Impact

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Anasa Franklin (afranklin [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is the Director of Community Impact for Literacy Mid-South. As a long-time Memphian, Anasa has worked as an educator, community advocate, and leader in the educational and nonprofit sector throughout the Memphis community. Her experience includes developing engaging and innovative solutions for diverse populations, assessing processes for efficiency, and mapping large scale program implementations across organizations and sectors. After seeing the power of reading in her own life, Anasa is committed to empowering the community through literacy. Prior to joining Literacy Mid-South, she worked for Memphis City Schools, Shelby County Schools, and Whole Child Strategies. She enjoys cooking, exploring history through documentaries, and solving puzzles and brainteasers with her family. Anasa received her BA in English from Tougaloo College and MA in Literature from the University of Memphis.

Community Resources Manager

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John Blount (jblount [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is the Community Resources Manager for Literacy Mid-South. In previous work with the City of Memphis, Youth Villages, and Christian Brothers University, he has pursued his passion for Memphis and the communities that make it up. John joined the Literacy Mid-South team in 2016 as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Read901 Program. In his current role, he provides supports & distributes resources to our Read901 OST community partners. John received his BA in Religion & Philosophy from Christian Brothers University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Memphis.

Adult Program Coordinator

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Lee Chase IV (lchase [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is the Adult Program Coordinator for Literacy Mid-South.  He has been a volunteer tutor since 2012, and is also a freelance writer and filmmaker.  Before joining Literacy Mid-South, Lee was an Account Manager for, an online printing company.  He also has experience writing and developing corporate training courses for adult learners.  Lee graduated from Christian Brothers University with a BA in English.  Lee is a certified ESL trainer by ProLiteracy and a graduate of Leadership Memphis' Fast Track program.  In his spare time, he is an avid reader, movie watcher, runner, and wrangler of his wild and crazy cat, Murphy. 

I.T. System Analyst

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James Coleman (jcoleman [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is the I.T. System Analyst for Literacy Mid-South. Born and raised in Memphis, James graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in Computer Engineering. He has been involved with several research projects that developed medical equipment and automated machine learning. He was also involved in several organizations, such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP). Before joining Literacy Mid-South, he worked as a mentor for Code-Crew where he engaged with Memphis youth, introduced them to Computer Science, and  taught them how to build various software. At Literacy Mid-South, he spends his time developing new systems for the various literacy programs, as well as handles any tech issues. James is truly dedicated to creating a better Memphis.

Development Assistant

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Rachel Rose (rrose [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is the Development Assistant for Literacy Mid-South. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas where she received her BA in Communications. She was involved in ASTRA Community Service Club, Pi Beta Phi, Miracle League, and International Student Conversation Club. Rachel has previous administration experience working for Noah's Ark Whitewater Rafting in Buena Vista, CO. She has moved to Memphis because of the opportunity to make impacts in the community and join the momentum of the developing city. Rachel loves enjoying the food and music scene that Memphis has to offer!

Administrative Assistant


Lucy Hughes (lhughes [at] literacymidsouth [dot] org) is the Administrative Assistant for Literacy Mid-South. A native Memphian, Lucy moved to East Tennessee to attend school at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga where she graduated with a BA in Communications. It was in Chattanooga that Lucy found her passion in working with nonprofits while interning with the local PBS station. Lucy is excited for the opportunity to work with Literacy Mid-South to help foster a love of reading throughout the Memphis area and beyond. Outside of work, Lucy can often be found at Overton Park with her pup, Cooper, and getting reacquainted with her ever growing hometown.

Today a reader.

Tomorrow a Leader.

Margaret Fuller.

American Journalist, Critic, and Womens' Rights Advocate