In-School Reading Mentor
This position will begin by providing literacy services virtually. When safe and allowable, mentors will provide literacy services in the classroom.
Average Weekly Hours: 36
Effective Start Date: Immediately
Link to official Application: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=98167
Official Position Description:
AmeriCorps Member Position Title: In-School Reading Mentor
Program: UWNNS Early Childhood Development & Family Engagement AmeriCorps Program, United Readers, with United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra (UWNNS) located in Washoe County. The mission of UWNNS is to link the communities 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
Program Director, AmeriCorps
Term of Service: Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM on school days in a classroom or office setting. Member serves November 2, 2020 through May 28, 2021. Members will serve at UWNNS and Washoe County Elementary Schools. This is a halftime, 900 hour term of service.
Purpose of Member Position Summary:
Members will assist children in grades Kindergarten through third grade in Washoe County School District with literacy acquisition skills to improve reading and reading fluency. Using pre-determined curriculum and lesson plans, and in conjunction with the school’s literacy initiatives, Members will conduct lessons and activities with students during reading blocks and independent work time in person and virtually, supporting UWNNS’s focus on early childhood literacy and goal of improving third grade reading scores in northern Nevada.
Descriptions of Duties:
Primary or essential functions include: lead students (in person or virtually) in grades K-3 in accordance with provided curriculum, lesson plans, and training; lead and develop age and content appropriate activities based on child’s assessed and identified needs; provide a safe and respectful learning experience and space for children; deliver and score provided pre- and post-assessments; communicate with school site staff, UWNNS staff, and AmeriCorps Program Director; attend required training days and orientation sessions; 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 school day. 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.
(a) 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 federal 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 reading fluency skills of children in grades K-3. 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. 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. This data, combined with the fact that many schools in Washoe County qualify for but do not receive additional federal Title I funding, prompt an immediate call to action and alignment of resources. This program will move the needle of achievement in literacy.