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2 years, 3 months
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Up to 12 months
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Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
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Virtual Service Pilot

Support a Reading and Conversation Club for Primary School Students

Activity/project background

Partner: 1. Primary School Goce Delcev – Mogila, North Macedonia; 2. Primary School 25 Maj, Skopje (Government)

Critical thinking through reading is essential for primary school students in North Macedonia as it cultivates skills that extend far beyond the classroom. As such, primary schools “Goce Delcev” and “25 Maj” plan to establish a reading club to enhance students’ skills for both reading and speaking. By engaging with diverse texts, students will learn to analyze, evaluate, and interpret information effectively, honing their ability to discern between fact and opinion. Through critical reading, they develop the capacity to ask insightful questions, make informed judgments, and construct coherent arguments.

To achieve the goals as members of a reading club, students will actively participate in discussions, sharing their interpretations and insights from the texts they read. They will encourage each other to ask probing questions and challenge perspectives, fostering an environment of intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness. The students will speak and discuss short stories, books, and popular topics with educational messages. A secondary goal of the reading club is to improve students’ English speaking and reading skills. By embracing the responsibilities of membership in a reading club, students can enhance their learning experience and empower themselves as critical thinkers and lifelong learners.

The schools, Primary School “Goce Delcev” and Primary School “25 Maj”, are requesting a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to facilitate these reading and conversation clubs for their students, ages 11 to 14.

These primary schools have not previously collaborated with Peace Corps. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Engagement and tasks

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

• Meet with the counterpart to plan the activities
• Co-assess the students’ language levels
• Co-create a curriculum for the club
• Co-teach students through interactive activities for one-to-two-hour weekly sessions in each school
• Discuss and evaluate the efficiency of the materials used in the session with the counterpart, then plan how to adapt them for the next club

VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week. This engagement is estimated to be 5 hours per week.

Online collaboration will generally occur between 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. North Macedonian time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Microsoft Teams or Zoom for regular communication and collaboration.

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 any field

• 1 year of TEFL/TESOL teaching experience in the U.S.A. or abroad
• 1 year experience in childhood literacy or in leading reading discussion groups

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: Bachelor's degree in elementary education, early childhood education, human development, family studies, primary education, or related field

Language: Basic Macedonian or Albanian

Experience: Experience with virtual engagement and communication

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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