Co-facilitate Teens’ Communication and Public Speaking Club

Activity/project background

Partner: Kryvyi Rih Gymnasium 122 (Government)

Kryvyi Rih Gymnasium 122, a secondary school in Ukraine, prioritizes the development of students' essential soft skills for the 21st century that are crucial for their success in life. Given the challenging circumstances of living in a time of war, teachers go the extra mile to create a learning environment that nurtures students' sense of agency and resilience, and the development of skills vital for overcoming adversity. As students are shaping their identities, it is especially important to teach teenagers effective communication and public speaking skills. These skills will empower them to articulate their thoughts, concerns, and aspirations more clearly. Therefore, the Gymnasium is seeking a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to co-lead an afterschool club aimed at young people aged 12-16. This club will help these young individuals unlock their true potential as confident communicators and persuasive speakers.
The club will offer training sessions in various aspects of communication, including verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening, public speaking, and interpersonal communication. With support from the VSPP, young people will be encouraged to practice their communication skills in English as they work towards their goals. Whether students aim to excel academically, articulate thoughts eloquently, or prepare for future leadership roles, this club will empower students to thrive in various aspects of their lives.

Students will also get an opportunity to learn about America and American culture, which will broaden their outlook on the world.

The Gymnasium has previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer. 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:

• Coordinate with Partner to learn about existing club topics and formats and assess current priorities and student engagement
• Co-design a virtual club curriculum that aims to improve students’ communication and public speaking skills
• Co-develop session plans for at least 10 virtual club meetings, focusing on effective communication and public speaking
• Co-facilitate club meetings and include cultural events on topics such as American holidays and historical events
• Attend a weekly one-hour meeting with a Ukrainian colleague for feedback and discussion

This engagement is expected to be approximately 16 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, 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Kyiv time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

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 liberal arts or related field

Experience: Experience working with youth in some capacity, such as teacher, counselor, mentor, coach, or volunteer

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

Education: Master’s degree in education or any related field

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Familiarity with tools for online facilitation/presentation, such as Canvas, Kahoot, Prezi

• Experience with curriculum and workshop development
• Experience teaching or facilitating group discussions
• Experience developing engaging virtual educational sessions

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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