Primary Literacy Advisor

Before You Apply

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Project Description

The Primary Literacy Project has been created to bolster literacy at the primary level of education by placing Volunteers in classrooms to support experienced local teachers with small “pull out” groups and coteaching. The three goals of the project are:
1. To assist primary school students, especially those who are performing below grade level, to develop an interest in literacy; improve academic performance and strengthen life skills.
2. To assist primary schools teachers with effective practices in classroom management; instructional planning and preparation; lesson delivery and assessment practices to facilitate student learning and provide continued advancement in literacy.
3. To increase engagement of parents in activities that support and promote literacy of their primary school aged children.
Primary Literacy Advisers work under the support of the Ministry of Education and under the supervision of the assigned school principal or his/her designee. They work Monday through Friday using creative, student-centered strategies to ignite a love of reading, writing and comprehension to develop a strong foundation for each child’s future academic achievement.

Required Skills

• Competitive candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline and a strong desire to teach literacy to youths 6-12 years old.

Desired Skills

Competitive applicants will have:
• Experience in early childhood development, elementary education or youth development. This includes elementary education/literacy, life skills education, parent education/support, social work, library studies and/or creative arts.
• 30 + hours of teaching/tutoring in areas of reading, writing and comprehension.
• Experience in classroom and behavioral management.
• Experience working with students, teaching a second language, or ESL tutoring.
• Willingness to work with children between the ages to 6-12 years
• High level of initiation and self-direction
• Patience, an open mind, and a willingness to try new things
• Ability to work with very limited resources
• Resiliency
• Commitment to diversity and inclusion
• Experience, interest, and willingness to work with youth

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Additional Language Information

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position, however you will be required to learn Patwa for successful safety, security and integration. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Jamaica is a bilingual country. English (Standard Jamaican English) is the official language, however there is also a Creole known as the Jamaican Patwa (Patois) which is the language spoken throughout Jamaica, especially in rural areas. While a few Jamaicans, especially those living in urban areas, move easily between Jamaican Patwa and English, the majority speak neither of these in their pure forms. The language and cultural training presented throughout the 27 month training continuum will help prepare you to speak and understand Jamaican Patwa and culture. This is crucial in order to facilitate smooth and successful integration into your community. All Trainees will be required to demonstrate a certain level of language proficiency (assessed through the Language Proficiency Interview) in order to successfully complete training.

Living Conditions

All Volunteers are required to live with a host family for the duration of their service. The majority of site assignments are in rural areas, predominantly in the interior and mountainous regions of the island. The standard of living varies widely within rural and even deep rural communities. The most common living situations are a room in a home with a Jamaican family with access to a shared bathroom and kitchen. Cellular phone coverage is available in most rural communities, but there may not be internet access. Your host family will assist you with orientation in your community, Jamaican home life, and cross-cultural adjustment during pre-service training and at your assigned community.

Most Volunteers have indoor plumbing with either running water or catchment rainwater. There is rarely hot water and bathing with cold water is the norm. Water supplies can be intermittent and scarce during severe drought periods so be prepared to practice water conservation, including taking bucket baths. Laundry is often washed by hand in a sink or a washtub or even in a river. Electricity is present island wide, except in very remote areas. There is some disparity between the amenities that each Volunteer will have with their assigned host families, however all Volunteers will have access to basic amenities, including a stove and refrigerator. Due to scarcity and high prices, conservation of electricity and water is critical while living with Jamaican host families.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Jamaica: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations in Jamaica

  • Jamaica may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: none identified.
  • After arrival in Jamaica, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot and mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.


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