Primary Literacy Advisor

The Peace Corps continues to monitor and assess the COVID-19 pandemic domestically and internationally. The locations and timing of returning Volunteers to service will be determined on a country-by-country basis. The positions and projected departure dates listed below are subject to change.

Project Description

The Primary Literacy Project supports the government of Jamaica's vision of having all students at the primary level of the education system literate. The three goals of the project are:

1. To support primary schools students, especially those who are performing below grade level, to develop an interest in literacy, improve academic performance, and strengthen life skills.
2. To support primary schools teachers in increasing their use of 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 Advisors work under the support of the Ministry of Education and under the supervision of the assigned school principal or their designee. They work alongside local partners, Monday to 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.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline and a strong desire to teach English.

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.
• Experience 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.
• Experience working with children between the ages of six and twelve.

Required Language Skills

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

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position, however you will be required to learn Patwa for successful safety, security and integration. By the end of Pre-Service Training you will be expected to have an Intermediate-Low proficiency in Patwa. Please take a moment to review the information below to find out more on how Patwa 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--which is the language spoken throughout Jamaica, especially in rural areas. 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 live in a host family setting for the duration of their service. The majority of community 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 intercultural adaptation during Pre-Service Training and in your assigned community.

Peace Corps staff will support you with training and strategies to integrate and adapt effectively and appropriately to living in the intercultural context of your host community. Electricity is present island-wide, except in very remote areas. There is some variation 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.

Serving in Jamaica

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

Couples Information

Jamaica happily accepts couples. Couples must have one person from the Agriculture sector, and one person from the Primary Literacy (Education) sector. Therefore your partner should apply and qualify for:

Sustainable Agriculture Facilitator

Couples will live in the same community, but will work on different projects. Couples will live together with a host family during both Pre-Service Training and service.

The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. Because of this, same-sex couple placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements. During the application process recruiters and placement officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit: https://www.peacecorps.gov/faqs/lgbtq/.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.


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