The Midlands Reading Consortium (MRC) is a direct service program of United Way of the Midlands. MRC addresses low reading proficiency by supplementing and enhancing shared reading experiences to ignite a love of reading and improve reading engagement for elementary school students. MRC’s focus on reading engagement is a strategy to support students in reaching mid-term outcomes of academic performance (on-time grade promotion, standardized test scores) and ultimately, long-term outcomes of on-time graduation rates and college or career readiness. MRC has also expanded into STEM and explores math through literature to cultivate interest in math. MRC improves reading engagement through a variety of strategies such as one-to-one reading sessions, guest reading opportunities, incentives to support summer reading camps, book donations, and family engagement events.
AmeriCorps Member Position Overview
AmeriCorps Members will enroll prekindergarten to third-grade students in one-on-one reading and STEM engagement sessions with district-approved volunteers, engage parents about the importance of reading at home, increase home libraries through book distribution, and promote literacy and STEM through general outreach and community engagement in Richland, Lexington, Orangeburg, Fairfield, and Calhoun Counties.
- Be at least 18 years of age or older.
- Have or be working towards a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- Be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States
- Satisfy the National Service Criminal History Check eligibility criteria pursuant to 45 CFR 2540.202.
- Facilitate the day-to-day operations of the program
- Ability to complete essential duties virtually (as needed) with provided technology
- Manage MRC volunteers at assigned school sites
- Match volunteers with a provided list of students and build a reading schedule
- Coordinate volunteer orientation, training, and placement for assigned schools
- Record volunteer attendance, student attendance, and demographic information
- Communicate important information to MRC volunteers including field trips, school closings and/or cancellations, student changes, testing dates, etc.
- Prepare and maintain individual student folders for program participants
- Provide supplemental resources during reading sessions
- Handle unexpected changes or conflicts that arise in an appropriate and timely manner
- Distribute surveys to teachers and/or volunteers twice during the school year (fall and spring)
- Distribute surveys for volunteers, teachers, and school administration/staff at the end of the school year.
- Assist with the coordination of grant and sponsorship-funded projects at assigned sites (e.g. family engagement events, literacy nights, STEM nights, etc.)
- Maintain regular communication with the school-appointed liaisons and familiarity with the school’s literacy curriculum.
- Be familiar with key school staff members including the principal, vice principal, reading specialist, parent coordinator, school-appointed liaison, etc.
- Coordinate the distribution of books and school supplies through the ‘Be a Book Bunny’+ ‘Ready Set Supply’ initiative.
- Provide ongoing support to volunteers and assist with quarterly volunteer trainings.
- Recruit volunteers at community engagement events and at assigned site areas.
- Participate in September 11th Day of Remembrance and Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service events, which may take place on a weekend or during holidays and include activities outside of the scope of typical day-to-day functions. Participation in September 11th Day of Remembrance and/or Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service events may occur on the weekend or during holidays and include activities outside of the scope of typical day-to-day functions.
Although not essential position functions, the AmeriCorps MRC School Liaison may be responsible for the following as needed:
- Serve as a weekly one-on-one MRC volunteer and fill in for assigned volunteers as needed.
- Participate in school family engagement/parenting events (literacy nights, book breakfasts)
- Assist school staffing outreach activities.
- Assist other departments in major projects as needed as it relates directly to the AmeriCorps program.
- Participate in outside service activities approved by the program’s director.
Physical, Emotional, and Intellectual Demands
The following competencies are important in helping the AmeriCorps Member perform the essential duties of this position successfully:
- Flexibility – The ability to adjust to and thrive in a complex and changing environment; handles challenges with care and thoughtfully responds in the face of adversity or conflict.
- Ability to Work Independently – The ability to be a self-starter and accomplish tasks independently and without constant direct supervision
- Ability to Multi-Task – The ability to handle multiple tasks and assignments; prioritizes more critical functions while maintaining a good handle on others; reports promptly any barriers to task completion and allows ample opportunities for a supervisor to adjust deadlines
- Results-Oriented Thinking and Behavior – A genuine concern for effectiveness. Possesses the desire to get the service done with excellence; mentally, is focused on getting the best results for actions taken; does not settle for mediocrity.
- Awareness and Sensitivity to the External Environment – Situational awareness; is aware of the organizations that they represent, including the United Way Association of South Carolina, South Carolina Service Commission, AmeriCorps, and the host site's position in the community and the effect of their words and actions on that position; demonstrates savvy in dealing with agencies, volunteers, and donors; is promoting and affirming in conversations about and on behalf of those organizations.
- Sedentary Work: Member is required to exert up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Walking and standing are required only occasionally, and all other sedentary criteria are met.
- Physical Activities:
- Manual Dexterity: Picking, pinching, typing, or otherwise serving, primarily with fingers rather than with the whole hand or arm as in handling.
- Communicating: Expressing or exchanging ideas. Activities must convey detailed or important spoken instructions to others accurately, loudly, or quickly.
- Listening: Ability to receive detailed information through appropriate communication.
- Visual Acuity: Member must have close visual acuity to perform an activity such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing a computer terminal; and/or expansive reading.
- Service Conditions: Member is subject to both inside and outside environmental conditions.
- The living allowance for this position is $450.00 (minus taxes) distributed on a bimonthly (15th and end of the month) basis and may not exceed $9,000 for the term of service.
- This position is eligible for an Education Award up to $3,447.50. Please visit https://americorps.gov/members-volunteers/segal-americorps-education-award for additional information on the education award.
- Training on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Mandated Reporting, Culture of Poverty etc.
- Mileage reimbursement
- Access to member health care (full-time only)
- Housing Stipend
This program is available to all, without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, marital or parental status, genetic information, and military service. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.