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Vision: Every child entering kindergarten prepared to succeed.

Mission: The Read to Me Project helps underserved children achieve kindergarten readiness and a lifetime of literacy by empowering schools age brothers and sisters to read to their young siblings at home.

Read to Me Project is an early literacy program that prepares young children to enter kindergarten with the knowledge, vocabulary, and comprehension skills that will help them succeed in school and become literate and successful adults. The Project provides structure and opportunity for children as young as eight months old to be regularly read to at home by their elementary-aged brothers and sisters.

Read to Me Project is Seeking a Program Coordinator

Children are the heart of the Read to Me Project, an innovative program that helps children achieve kindergarten readiness and a lifetime of literacy by empowering upper-elementary age brothers and sisters to read to their young siblings at home. The Read to Me Project vision is: Every child entering kindergarten is prepared to succeed. 

Position Summary: We are seeking a highly organized individual to become a Read to Me Project Program Coordinator, an advocate with the ability to inspire teacher participation and build rapport with those teachers. The Program Coordinator is trained to prepare, coordinate and oversee all aspects of project implementation including: conducting presentations about the program, coaching groups of 4th, 5th and 6th grade student participants, preparing books-bins for use in the classrooms, managing student surveys, and generally taking responsibility for successful program outcomes in assigned classrooms. Teaching or presenting skills are desirable. The individual with bilingual skills (Spanish/English) may also be asked to conduct parent presentations.

Responsibilities include and are not limited to:    

  • Participate in required staff training sessions and team meetings
  • Manage and implement with great attention to detail, Read to Me Project in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade classrooms in assigned schools while following the Project implementation timeline:
  • Conduct orientations to students and teachers
  • Manage and organize all program forms
  • Train student assistants to check books in and out
  • Coach groups of student readers throughout the year
  • Review classroom reading-logs, identify and resolve problems
  • Maintain regular communications with program director
  • Plan, schedule and execute Read to Me Project events
  • Prepare, deliver, maintain and inventory classroom book-bins
  • Administer surveys and collect data
  • Provide classroom teachers and administrators with clear, accurate and regular communications
  • Conduct bilingual Parent Education Sessions (if applicable to ability)
  • Provide administrative office support

Required Competencies:

  • Effective and engaging communicator – able to passionately articulate Read to Me Project’s purpose and value.
  • Ability to work closely and develop strong relationships with diverse individuals.
  • Effective time management, organizational, and problem solving skills.
  • Organized and punctual.
  • Ability to take initiative, self-directed and accountable.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Comfortable making presentations to small groups of teachers, parents and students.
  • Creative problem solving and critical thinking: able to address and manage issues to achieve desired results.

Also Required:  

  • Bachelor’s Degree (in education preferred but not required)
  • Basic computer skills
  • Able to travel to program sites
  • Meet all state required conditions of valid California Driver’s License
  • Ability to lift 30-35lbs
  • Fingerprints and Background checks: All personnel working in public schools with children must complete fingerprinting and a background check requirement. (Cost covered by Read to Me Project)
  • TB Test: Required by all personnel working in schools. (Cost covered by Read to Me Project)

 Helpful:   Fluent bilingual English/Spanish Language   

Start Date: August 1, 2017

Hours: 60 hours per month – weekly schedule will vary based on school schedules, but work will generally be conducted during school hours with occasional exceptions. Program coordinators are asked to follow implementation timelines but will have some discretion to set specific schedule.

For consideration please apply by Friday, June 9, 2017. Submit resume and cover letter to mary@readtomeproject.org   www.readtomeproject.org

Our Success
Since being founded in 2011,  Read to Me Project has served thousands of children in Monterey County, specifically throughout the Salinas Valley. We begin serving 4 classrooms and launched into the 2016/2017 school year in 96 classrooms.

This success and rapid growth has been made possible by hundreds of individuals, across Monterey County, who have taken a stand in support of early literacy. Many have dedicate their time, energy, dollars, and expertise to help share and build the vision.

Click on the video below to hear Sonia Aramburo, the Principal of one of our participating schools talk about her experience with the Read to Me Project.

 

You can also hear what 4th to 6th grade students say about their experience of reading to their younger brothers and sisters by clicking on the following videos.

 

 

Why does this matter?  Read to Me Project is addressing a need in Monterey County for a high quality, professional program with a focused commitment to preparing young children to enter kindergarten with the skills that can lead to life-long academic success. Children who do not read on grade level by 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school (Annie E. Casey Foundation Double Jeopardy Study). A 2013 Stanford study identified that low SES children begin to show an “achievement gap” in the area of language starting as early as 18 months old, which continues to widen with age, reaching a two-year achievement gap by the age of five.(Stanford Report, September 25, 2013 by Bjorn Carey). One of the most effective developmental activities that builds a strong foundation for learning in a child’s brain is being read to. Reading to children builds an essential foundation of vocabulary, knowledge and comprehension. These skills are critical to school success and life-long literacy. A great deal of money is spent on expensive remediation programs that provide too little, too late as schools wait for children to fail before providing intervention.

Salinas Valley, California hospitals report 5,000 annual births. Seven thousand children County-wide are entering kindergarten every year and 70% of them are entering unprepared – lagging as much as two years behind in vocabulary, cognitive and language skills.

Read to Me Project is a powerful program that is designed to reach thousands of children at the earliest ages (6 months to 5 years) through their school-age brothers and sisters. Read to Me engages a trained, caring army of emerging literate 4th, 5th and 6th graders to take age appropriate books home to read to their young siblings as part of their ungraded nightly homework.

Reading to young children changes lives by engaging, teaching, and building the foundation for a lifetime of success and literacy. Siblings reading to younger siblings builds bonds and memories, and teachers report improved reading fluency among the participating students.

How is the Read to Me Project Different?
Read to Me Project is easy and inexpensive to implement, immediate, direct, and powerful; reaching large numbers of young children where they learn best, at home. Families are engaged in providing their infants, toddlers, and preschool children with the foundation for learning and life-long literacy. Read to Me Project fosters loving and positive relationships among family members and nourishes lifelong bonds between siblings. It is an organic and simple approach as opposed to costly in-school remediation programs that often prove to be provided too late.

How the Read to Me Project Started
The Read to Me Project was started by a Salinas Valley public school Speech and Language Specialist who was concerned with the large numbers of children entering kindergarten without essential foundation skills, of vocabulary, language and basic preschool knowledge. After realizing the simple idea of siblings reading to siblings, she piloted the program in her husband’s fourth grade classroom and successfully grew the project from there.

Reasons Why The Read to Me Project is Important
  • Every year 80% of Monterey County children enter kindergarten already behind in the important readiness skills that lead to school success.
  • 48% Monterey County families do not read to their children on a regular basis.
  • 45% of Monterey County parents have less than a high school education.
  • 50+% of the parents who did not graduate from high school have children who attend low performing schools.
  • There are approximately 12,000 economically disadvantaged students in 4th, 5th and 6 grade classrooms across Monterey County, with about 4,000 who have siblings under the age of 5.
  • Research has shown, and many parents and educators know, that the more language and vocabulary that children are exposed to at an early age the greater their academic success in school.
  • It is the first five years of exposure to vocabulary and language that lays the foundation for early and successful literacy. A recent study by Stanford University shows that children in poverty are often up to 6 months behind in language development by the age of 18 months.