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Peace Corps Volunteer
2 years, 3 months
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Peace Corps Response
Up to 12 months
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Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
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Virtual Service Pilot

Co-facilitate Student Literacy Sessions and Build Staff Capacity

Activity/project background

Partner: Villa Road Primary School (Government)

Villa Road Primary School is a co-educational school located in Mandeville, Manchester Jamaica. The school receives students annually who are in need of significant literacy intervention although there is not a reading specialist or a special needs teacher, which limits the amount of available individualized learning support. Nearly 50 students, ages 6-12 years, have been identified with perceived learning challenges who are in need of support in a small group context.

The school is seeking Virtual Service Pilot Participants (VSPPs) to conduct small group sessions with students to aid in improving the literacy and performance in both internal and external examinations. Each VSPP will facilitate 2 groups with approximately 6 children based on age group. VSPPs are also requested to share best practices and lessons learned with staff.

Villa Road Primary School has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer or a Virtual Service Pilot Participant. They understand that the role of a VSPP is different than a two-year Volunteer.

Engagement and tasks

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

• Based on assigned age group, co-assess students who are reading below their grade level to determine groupings and small group session activities
• Co-conduct 2-4 weekly 1-hour small group sessions with up to 6 students
• Assist in capacity building of teachers through professional development activities at least twice per term (total of at least 6) to ensure that there is the sharing of best practices

This engagement is expected to be approximately 27 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, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Google Meet, WhatsApp and email for regular communication and collaboration.

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 education or related field

Experience: 2 years’ experience teaching at the elementary level

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 with a specialization in literacy

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Language: Basic Jamaican Patwa (Creole)

• 5 years’ experience in literacy instruction
• Experience conducting literacy pull out 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 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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