The government of Samoa is eager to boost English literacy teaching and learning capacity in Samoan Primary Schools. The Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MESC) has requested the assistance of Peace Corps to help reach this goal. While results of the 2018 national assessments for English show a steady decrease in the number of students who are identified as “at risk” of not achieving learning outcomes in Years 4 and 6, there still remains a high number of “at-risk” students who continue to need special attention. Peace Corps Volunteers therefore work in Samoan primary schools to promote the capacity of students and teachers to become proficient English literacy learners and educators.
Samoan students transition to an English curriculum beginning in Year 4. This can be a challenging transition. Volunteers boost students English literacy skills through teaching Years 4, 5 and 6 students in small pull-out groups. They use student-centered methods and priority is given to at-risk students. During their second year of service, Volunteers continue teaching their small pull-out groups but also co-teach with a Samoan teacher counterpart. Through co-teaching, Volunteers and their counterparts engage in the ongoing exchange of methods, techniques and ideas that build English Literacy teaching capacity.
In addition to teaching, Volunteers assist schools in developing their libraries and library lending programs, create before and after school reading programs and in some cases may also teach computer skills. Finally, Volunteers engage parents and other community members in English literacy through initiating family literacy activities and inviting parents to school-based events.
Peace Corps Samoa is focused on the long term sustainability and impact of Volunteer projects and assignments. In an effort to ensure sustainability and measure Volunteer impact, Samoa follows a 6 year project cycle in each school and community, starting with a 1st Generation Volunteer and ending with a 3rd Generation Volunteer. After the 3rd Volunteer closes their service, the school and community will have had a Volunteer for an entire six year project cycle. This will be a long enough span of time for Peace Corps to see impacts of the project. Most Volunteers will be replacing previous Volunteer in the same community as a 2nd Generation or a 3rd Generation Volunteer. Therefore the individual tasks and assignments of each Volunteer will depend both on the community and the generation of the Volunteer.
Generation 1 Volunteers will set the initial ground work of the project for schools and communities. They will be working with small pull-out groups in Years 4, 5 & 6, introduce Peace Corps mission and goals to schools and communities, establish and organize libraries and set up a lending program for both students and teachers that are user-friendly. In addition, while the bulk of the 1st Generation Volunteer’s work is with the students, they are expected to meet project requirements in terms of co-teaching with local teachers in their 2nd year of service. The 1st Generation Volunteer will recommend teachers that the 2nd Generation can work with as co-teachers and counterparts.
Generation 2 Volunteers will continue the project where the previous Volunteer left off. They will continue working with Years 4, 5 & 6, continue working on secondary projects that were previously set up and work closely with school teachers to build local teachers' capacities. The 2nd Generation Volunteer is not expected to start new library systems but to continue on with the same system established previously. This Volunteer will focus on improving teachers’ general teaching and English literacy teaching skills. They are expected to start co-teaching and conduct professional development trainings with teachers in Term 2 of their 1st year of service.
Generation 3 Volunteers will mainly be responsible for finishing up any work that the prior Volunteer was not able to complete – both primary and secondary projects. They are not expected to start any new secondary projects unless necessary and at the request of the communities. In addition to pull-out groups in Years 4, 5 & 6 and co-teaching, the 3rd Generation Volunteer will focus on increasing students’ and teachers’ access to teaching/learning materials and resources that support literacy acquisition; and increasing parents' and community members' support and participation in children’s literacy learning. After the 3rd Volunteer closes their service, the school will have had a Volunteer for six years. This will be a long enough span of time for Peace Corps to see impacts of the project in each school and community.
Volunteers will be serving at a Post that is participating in initiatives promoting gender awareness, girls’ and boys' education, and leadership empowerment. Peace Corps Samoa is the first Post to have GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Clubs in schools that are co-run by Volunteers and local Counterparts. To date, we have more than 15 Primary Schools with active GLOW Clubs that meet weekly. These clubs are now supported by the local communities and schools, as well as our main partner agency, MESC.
Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Relocation allowance (if applicable), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check