Raising A Reader MA is an evidence-based early literacy program that helps families of young children (newborn to age 5) develop, practice and maintain habits of home book sharing. Our work, which both increases access to books and offers families tools and support for strengthening the culture of reading at home, is driven by 25 years of research that shows that the single most significant factor influencing a child’s lifelong achievement is being read to by their parents and adult caregivers before starting kindergarten.
Raising A Reader MA, an affiliate of a national organization, was founded in 2006 by the GreenLight Fund. Raising A Reader MA became an independent 501-c-3 nonprofit organization in 2009.
Raising A Reader MA was recently awarded a significant grant from Boston Children’s Hospital, which, among other initiatives, will fund the creation of a Parent Ambassador cohort in Boston. Raising A Reader MA parent ambassadors are parents who have participated in the program, and gotten further involved as volunteer peer leaders in their communities, enhancing Raising A Reader MA’s ability to serve children and families. The role and the project will be modeled on our existing success with the Parent Ambassador program in Greater Boston, based in Chelsea, and the Parent Liaison from that community will serve as a key resource. The new Parent Liaison will be responsible for working with an already active group of engaged parents in Boston, as well as continuing to recruit more volunteers; s/he will serve as the key point person for potential and current parent ambassadors in the Boston community. In particular, the Parent Liaison will be responsible for creating a system to recruit, train, and provide ongoing support for engaged parent volunteers. While many current program partners are concentrated in the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury, and East Boston, Raising A Reader MA works with organizations across the city. The team of parent ambassadors will contribute to family engagement efforts across a variety of partnership settings, including tasks related to outreach and parent education.
The Parent Liaison will be based in the Boston headquarters, with frequent travel to partner sites across Boston, and close collaboration with the Greater Boston team located in Chelsea. The Parent Liaison will be a member of the Program Team and will work at the direction of a Senior Program Manager. This position is part time at 20 hours/week, and may be either year round or 10 months (September to June), with a salary of $18,000. Although this position is initially grant-funded for three years, we expect to sustain the role as a permanent part of the team.
Parent Ambassador Cohort Maintenance and Growth
- Follow up with interested parents by ensuring they have an opportunity to receive an orientation in a timely manner
- Coordinate volunteer placements according to requests from program staff; including maintaining current documentation of requests and volunteer availability in Google spreadsheets and calendars, communicating with all parties via phone/text/email, confirming participation and communicating any changes to all affected parties in a timely manner, etc.
- Organize and facilitate volunteer orientation/training sessions; including inviting volunteers, arranging food and space, arranging child care, preparing materials, etc.
- Mentor/coach new parent volunteers as needed, in such areas as Dialogic Reading, outreach strategies, facilitation strategies, etc.
- Track parent ambassadors’ activities and progress in Salesforce
- Collect feedback from parent volunteers and support the program team in continuous program improvement
- Invite parents/caretakers to events via phone calls, text messages, emails, etc.
- Talk to families and hand out flyers at partner programs
- Support with tabling at partner events and community gatherings to promote Raising A Reader MA’s mission and raise community awareness
- Support Raising A Reader MA’s evolving social media presence
Program Team Support
- Plan and facilitate parent education workshops at assigned partner programs
- Provide storytimes at partners and community spaces as availability allows, with the aim of increasing awareness
Skills and Qualifications:
- Passionate about the importance of book sharing and enthusiastic about spreading that energy
- Certified, or able to achieve certification quickly, in Dialogic Reading (offered as part of new staff orientation if needed)
- Experience with group facilitation and public speaking
- Experience working with families and caretakers
- Familiarity with the Boston community
- Outgoing personality and excellent communication skills
- General office, scheduling and telephone skills
- Demonstrated ability to work autonomously and effectively without close supervision
- Willingness to function effectively as a member of a team, and to participate in activities that will contribute to the organization’s overall success
- Strong understanding and practice of cultural humility and respect for others
- Comfortable with technology including Microsoft Office software, Google tools, e-mail, web
- Experience with data management systems such as Salesforce preferred
- Reliable transportation required for travel throughout Boston (i.e. car and valid driver's license; comfort and timeliness on public transportation, etc.)
- Bilingual in English and Spanish required
Raising A Reader encourages individuals of all backgrounds to apply for this position, and we do not discriminate on any basis prohibited by applicable law. We celebrate the diversity of our world and our community, and we seek to build a team that reflects that diversity.
To apply: Please send a resume and cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please state your preference for 12 or 10 month schedule, as well as where you learned of this opportunity.