Early Childhood Literacy Mentor
Link to Application: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=98155
Service Site: United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra
Average Weekly Hours: 36
Effective Start Date: November 2, 2020
Expected Population Served: Children (birth to 9 years old)
Primary Focus Area + Objective: Education; K-12 Success
Secondary Focus Area + Objective: None.
Does this position involve recurring access with vulnerable Populations?: Yes.
Official Position Description:
AmeriCorps Member Position Title: Early Childhood Reading Mentor
Program: UWNNS Early Childhood Development & Family Engagement AmeriCorps Program, United Readers, with United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra in Washoe County. The mission of UWNNS is to link the community's will and resources to improve lives in northern Nevada. UWNNS is committed to early childhood literacy. The goal of the program is to provide literacy acquisition supports to early learners in order to improve third grade reading scores.
United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra
639 Isbell Rd., Suite 460
Reno, NV 89509
CEO and President
Program Director, AmeriCorps
Term of Service: Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM in an office setting. Some evenings will be required but will be scheduled in advance with Members. Member serves November 2, 2020 through May 28, 2021. Members will primarily serve at the main UWNNS office. This is a halftime, 900 hour term of service.
Purpose of Member Position Summary:
Members will assist children aged 0-5 and their families both in person and virtually, with literacy acquisition and kindergarten readiness skills. Using pre-determined curriculum and lesson plans, Members will conduct lessons and activities with small groups of children and their families during family literacy sessions. Sessions will be six weeks in length and a minimum of six sessions will occur throughout the service year. Members will attend and lead tabling events for families and children with partner organizations as well as provide outreach and services virtually to rural communities. These sessions will support the program’s goal of improving third grade reading scores in northern Nevada.
Descriptions of Duties:
Primary or essential functions include: lead small groups of children 0-5 and their families/caregivers through pre-determined lessons and activities in 1-hour sessions for six weeks; attend all training and service events; collaborate with partner organizations to determine tabling events to expand reach of the program utilizing the same activities and lessons from family literacy sessions and training; communicate with families based upon child’s assessed needs; provide a safe and respectful learning space for children and families; deliver and score pre- and post- assessments and surveys; communicate with staff; AmeriCorps Program Director, and Members; and professionally represent and be an ambassador for the United Readers Program, AmeriCorps, and UWNNS.
Secondary or non-essential functions: lead and utilize volunteers to implement reading and activities; lead, organize, and participate in AmeriCorps Day of Caring project(s); maintain learning space and materials; collect and report program statistics; maintain Member Reflection Journals and supplementals from training; communicate student needs and engagement ideas to families; and identify and discuss problems or areas for program and experience improvement, make suggestions, and collaboratively develop solutions.
Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply, all duties may be performed with or without reasonable accommodations. No persons involved with the program will discriminate based on actual or perceived race, religion, creed, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or disability. This position has recurring access to vulnerable populations. This position does not duplicate work of previous or existing employees or volunteers, supplant the hiring of workers, or include services or duties that have been performed or were performed by a current employee, an employee that has resigned or was discharged, an employee subject to reduction in force, or an employee who is on leave.
Members must have a high school degree or equivalent. Candidates must be able to perform services during the day as well as some evenings. Members should be interested in or have experience with education or a related field, a community and service mindset, and be willing to learn. Members should be adaptable and creative while planning and delivering services. Must have a desire to work with small children and be able to explain lessons and activities clearly and effectively. Position requires patience and collaboration with other Members and staff as well as through Microsoft and Google suites. Experience with young children and child development is encouraged but not required. Reliable transportation is highly recommended.
Successful candidates must agree to conform to the AmeriCorps dress code and complete a National Sex Offender Public Website check and National Service Criminal History Check. Successful applicants agree to confirm eligibility according to the member eligibility requirements (45 CFR 2522.200(a)) outlined below.
Eligibility: An AmeriCorps participant must—
(1)(i) Be at least 17 years of age at the commencement of service; or
(ii) Be an out-of-school youth 16 years of age at the commencement of service participating in a program described in §2522.110(b)(3) or (g);
(2)(i) Have a high school diploma or its equivalent; or
(ii) Not have dropped out of elementary or secondary school to enroll as an AmeriCorps participant and must agree to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent prior to using the education award; or
(iii) Obtain a waiver from the Corporation of the requirements in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (a)(2)(ii) of this section based on an independent evaluation secured by the program demonstrating that the individual is not capable of obtaining a high school diploma or its equivalent; or
(iv) Be enrolled in an institution of higher education on an ability to benefit basis and be considered eligible for funds under section 484 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1091);
(3) Be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States.
AmeriCorps Members who successfully complete a term of service are eligible for a Segal Education Award in the amount of $3,097.50. Members are eligible for student loan forbearance during service. Members receive a modest living allowance of 476.66 bi-weekly during the length of service.
Members will receive two weeks of training and orientation at the start of service and continued training and professional development throughout the academic school year in accordance with the Washoe County School District calendar. Members will be informally observed monthly and formally evaluated mid-term and towards the end of the term of service. Observations, accountability for timesheets and reporting requirements, participation and performance in training and service days, and general position requirements will be evaluated.
Briefly describe how the Member’s activities strategically address a community need:
United Readers is designed to support the literacy acquisition and kindergarten readiness skills of children birth through five. Third grade is a pivotal milestone for reading in which students move from learning to read towards reading to learn. Third grade reading levels have been proven predictors of success in upper grades and later in life. Many children in northern Nevada do not have access to preschool services and begin Kindergarten behind their peers academically. Students entering kindergarten with the skills necessary to succeed in these lower elementary grade levels are likely to meet third grade reading levels. The AmeriCorps Members serving in this position will play a role in the future success of our community’s children and the improvement of the community at-large.
Briefly Describe how the AmeriCorps program adds value to the placement site/community:
Learning to read and write are essential skills for school success and, ultimately, for success later in life. Third grade is a pivotal milestone for reading proficiency. Through third grade, students are learning to read. After third-grade, students are reading to learn. The need for increased literacy opportunities in Washoe County is urgent, especially among our children who are living in poverty. According to the 2018-2019 Nevada Report Card (Nevada Accountability Portal, 2019), less than 50% of northern Nevada children read at grade level. That number decreases dramatically for students of families who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL), an indicator of poverty. Only 32% of FRL students scored proficient in reading, compared to 63% of their more affluent, non-FRL peers. Many Nevada children, especially living in poverty, begin their school career at a disadvantage as Nevada ranks 48th in the nation for preschool enrollment with only 36.7% of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool. This data, combined, prompts an immediate call to action and alignment of resources. This program will move the needle of achievement in literacy.