Co-Design and Facilitate Art Curriculum for Children

Activity/project background

Partner: Casa Búho (Community-based Organization)

Casa Búho is an initiative that promotes reading programs for children and youth in Machalilla, Ecuador, a coastal town where the right to read is not guaranteed and there is an urgent need to provide safe spaces for children and youth. The organization aims to offer support to families, promoting respectful, positive parenting, and recognizes that literacy can open doors and provide people many more opportunities.

Art complements the reading process by stimulating creativity and imagination, which can make the reading experience even more enriching. By involving children in artistic activities, they are offered the opportunity to express themselves differently and develop connections between what they read and what they create visually or emotionally.

The Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) will play a vital role at Casa Búho, assisting in the co-design of an engaging collection of art activities tailored for children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. The VSPP will help to develop a diverse set of creative projects to foster artistic expression and exploration in young minds.

Casa Búho has previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer and a Virtual Service Pilot Participant. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Activity Curation and Co-design: Co-develop innovative and age-appropriate activities covering various methodologies, techniques, and themes that resonate with the targeted group
• Guideline Co-development: Co-create clear and easy-to-follow instructions for each art activity, facilitating self-exploration and creativity among the participants
• Supplementary Material Co-creation: Co-design and co-develop supplemental materials such as visual aids, reference guides, or additional resources to enrich the learning experience and support the execution of the art projects
• Adaptation and Inclusivity: Tailor activities to accommodate different skill levels and ensure inclusivity, allowing children of varying abilities to participate and engage meaningfully
• Collaborative Remote Work: Collaborate virtually with the team, contributing ideas, receiving feedback, and refining designs to align with the project's goals and vision

This engagement is expected to be approximately 15 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Ecuador time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, Email, and WhatsApp for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in art education, visual arts, child development, or early childhood education

Language: Intermediate Spanish

Experience:
• 1 year of experience working with children ages 5-12 in arts education activities as a teacher, art instructor, or volunteer
• 1 year of experience working with different forms of artistic expression, such as painting, drawing, music, theater, crafts, etc.
• 1 year of experience writing instructions and communicating effectively to children of different ages with a diverse set of skills and learning styles

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Ability to adapt activities for different ability levels and ensure they are inclusive for all children, regardless of their abilities or previous experiences

Language: Advanced Spanish

Experience: 3 years of experience as an arts and crafts teacher or volunteer

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.


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