Primary Literacy Promoter
Therefore, Primary Literacy Promoters work at primary schools in villages and towns throughout the country to support the Ministry of Education’s literacy curriculum in Grades 1-4, for children ages 6 to 9. They are in school at least 35 hours per week where they are supervised by the Head Teacher and work with an identified teacher counterpart.
Primary Literacy Promoters work directly with students through small group “pull-outs” and one-on-one student tutoring sessions. They conduct literacy diagnostic assessments with students, arrange pull-out schedules and deliver literacy lessons covering the components of the Literacy Wheel, which include alphabet knowledge and sounds, phonological and phonemic awareness, and phonics. They also maintain records of the students’ progress to share and discuss with the Head Teacher and school staff.
Primary Literacy Promoters also work with teachers to strengthen general teaching skills, as well as specific skills related to teaching literacy, through modeling of teaching techniques, participating in communities of practice and assisting teachers in developing appropriate classroom learning resources. Depending on experience, Volunteers may also have the opportunity to conduct technical trainings (e.g., workshops or professional development sessions) with the teachers at their school, as well as teachers from their regional cluster.
Outside of class, the Primary Literacy Promoters’ work-plan involves developing and/or maintaining classroom and school libraries and training students and teachers to utilize the libraries as a resource for improving literacy. Additionally, they collaborate with their teaching staff and local Parent Teachers’ Association to increase community awareness of literacy and plan and implement support activities so parents and caregivers can help their children learn to read.
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.
• Previous experience in teaching or tutoring English (ESL or TEFL) and/or literacy (reading, writing, comprehension)
• State teacher’s license or certification in Elementary Education
• 1 or more years’ classroom teaching experience at the Early Childhood level with knowledge of Montessori method a plus
• Adult facilitation skills and experience in adult learning methods
Required Language Skills
Most of the population lives in a long narrow strip along the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Venezuela to Suriname. The open savannah and forests of the interior are dotted with small indigenous communities, some of whom still preserve their own language. The country is crisscrossed by myriad rivers, and transportation to and from the Volunteer’s community may involve a mix of minibus, hired car, small plane, motor boat, and canoe.
Primary Literacy Promoters live and work in villages and towns along the coast, and in rural and remote communities in the inner hinterlands of Guyana. Large towns have power lines, communication infrastructure and running water, while many rural villages rely on solar panels, latrines and community wells. Cell phone and internet service is sporadic throughout the country.
Living conditions vary, but Primary Literacy Promoters in all locations should be prepared to do the following:
• Endure long rides on public transportation and over water
• Adjust to the high heat and humidity of a tropical climate
• Use a latrine toilet
• Wash clothes by hand in a bucket
• Adapt to a diet with limited availability and seasonal variety of fresh fruits and vegetables
• Live with limited or sporadic access to electricity, phone and internet
• Walk or ride a bike long distances (2 to 10 kilometers) over uneven terrain
Professional dress and behavior is extremely important in schools in Guyana. School administration expects all teachers, including Volunteers, to adhere to the Ministry of Education’s Code of Conduct which includes being well-groomed, dressing professionally (slacks, belt and button-down dress shirts for men, dresses and skirts or nice slacks with blouses for women) and respecting the organizational structure. Guyanese teachers are viewed as role models in the community and are cautioned by the Ministry to display publicly acceptable behaviors when not in school. Volunteers will also be held to this standard as they live and dwell in the local communities.
While Peace Corps Volunteers of various gender expressions, gender identities and sexual orientations have served successfully in Guyana, it is important to note that Guyana has restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts. Volunteers will need to be mindful of Guyanese law and cultural norms, and use their best judgment to determine how to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in the country and within their host communities. Peace Corps Guyana staff and currently-serving Volunteers are available to support Volunteers. They will address these topics during Pre-Service Training and identify support mechanisms to help Volunteers who may experience a lack of openness and acceptance during their service. Please refer to the Local Laws and Special Circumstances of the U.S. Department of State’s travel page for more information.
Primary Literacy Promoters who serve successfully in Guyana are open-minded, flexible, emotionally mature and very resilient. They deal well with ambiguity and isolation and are proactive in unstructured settings. They are culturally competent and show respect by following cultural norms.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Guyana: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.
Adolescent Health Promoter
Primary Literacy Promoter
Couples in Guyana will share living arrangements, but will have separate work sites. Couples will work at neighboring sites (not more than 30 minutes apart). Although a couple will live together during service, each individual is expected to work at their own school and is encouraged to have their own Peace Corps experience.
Couples will be placed together with a host family during the 10 weeks of Pre-Service Training and during the first five months in their permanent community. The couple will have their own bedroom in a single family home and share common living areas with family members, including living room, kitchen, dining areas, and the bathroom or latrine. We cannot guarantee a particular type of living arrangement, and expect Volunteers to be flexible and adaptable.
We strongly believe the homestay program supports Volunteers’ safety and community integration. After the first five months of service, Volunteers may live in independent housing that meets Peace Corps Guyana’s safety and security criteria. Please note that independent housing may not be available in all communities and that couples may need to live with host families throughout their service.
Before you apply, please 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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