Save the Children provides high-quality early learning interventions to children, from birth to age eight, in more than 150 low-income rural communities across the U.S. We are seeking an early learning expert to deepen our impact and reach more children, with a focus on strategies to support emergent readers in Kindergarten and first-grade. As a member of the national program leadership team, the Senior Specialist for Early Grade Reading’s primary responsibilities include designing high-quality programs, leading innovation efforts, and ensuring our evaluations and learning agenda align with the strategy. The Senior Specialist will also work closely with our Rural Education field team to ensure program quality standards are met and collaborate with fundraising colleagues to drive business growth and development. This position can be office-based or remote.
Support for Program Design and Quality Assurance (35%)
Responsible for having the deepest and broadest knowledge about areas of Save the Children Rural Education programming, methodology, assessment and implementation, including:
- Providing technical expertise at the national level on emergent reading for Kindergarten and 1stgraders;
- Staying abreast of national trends and working with field team to revise and adapt curriculum materials to align with best practice and meet local contexts/needs;
- Summarizing and analyzing program implementation data; informing other national staff of strengths and weaknesses of programs; informing quality improvement efforts;
- Developing training materials to support the onboarding of new field and national staff; designing, implementing and supporting national trainings;
- Working with National Program Team and field colleagues to break down silos and foster collaboration.
Organizational strategy, planning and reporting (25%)
Responsible for ensuring that programmatic strategies are clearly understood, informed by data/our experience and in keeping with the leading edge of best practice, including:
- Developing thematic strategies and contributing to program design and improvement;
- Collaborating with state teams to develop and refine staff development plans (including train-the-trainer models, in-person and remote methods);
- Analyzing partner performance reports on a quarterly basis and providing guidance and support to state leads and PSs on areas for program improvement;
- Aligning assessments with curriculum; ensuring data collection aligns with program design and logic models; providing training and guidance in the implementations of assessment.
New business & proposal development (20%)
Responsible for contributing to the pursuit of strategic funding opportunities, including:
- Cultivating partnerships and/or relationships with donors and other key stakeholders;
- Preparing for grant opportunities by gathering information, conducting formative research, and leading or participating in the program design process;
- Contributing to the active proposal development process through design workshops, proposal writing, reviews, etc.
Thought leadership, embedding evidence and learning (15%)
Responsible for shaping the evaluation and learning agenda around our emergent reader programs and partnerships, with a focus on results for kindergarten and first graders, including:
- Innovating and adapting to ensure programs and partnerships are helping struggling emergent readers to become independent readers;
- Generating evidence, research, collating and sharing learning, developing tools, approaches, training guides etc.
- keeping on top of research, training Program Specialists in new evidence, presenting at conferences;
- Leading in standards-setting and other technical dialogue with key stakeholders (e.g. donors, partners), and supporting technical dialogue in states and nationally; -
- Promoting Save the Children’s expertise and services through conference presentations, and other related activities.
- You have a minimum 5-7 years' experience supporting emergent readers
- Familiarity with the unique challenges facing rural communities
- Familiarity and experience implementing strategies that support children who are struggling to learn to read (e.g., Response to Intervention and/or Reading Recovery)
- Proven ability to work within a complex organization
- Experience with data management and web-based platforms (i.e., SharePoint, Microsoft-suite: Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word)
- Pro-active, energetic, patient, detail-oriented, and manages deadlines independently.
- Excellent communication and facilitation skills.
- A valid driver’s license and ability to drive a car.
- Aetna Medical and Dental insurance with a concierge service
- Health Care and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
- Vision Insurance
- Life insurance
- Employee Assistance Program
- Commuter Benefit Program
- Vacation and Sick leave
- Paid holidays
What makes us special!
- Generous Retirement Savings with matching company contributions of up to 8%
- Family Leave – 10 additional days of paid time off for you to use to care for your family members
- Additional Maternity and Paternity Leave – 30 days where parents can take additional paid leave (beyond short-term disability and FMLA) at the birth or adoption of a child during that critical first year!
- Critical Child Illness Leave – We hope you never have to use it, but we will provide an additional 30 days of paid leave per year should your dependent child be faced with a critical illness.
- Pet Insurance, Critical Illness Insurance, Identity Protection, Home, Auto and additional Life insurances
- Summer Fun Fridays – During the summer months, early release at 1:30 pm every other Friday!
- Volunteer Day – One paid day a year to support the causes that matter to you!
- Leadership and Employee Development Training, including:
- Our remarkable in-house CORE, Senior Management Development, and Leadership Development Programs
- Language learning opportunities
- Continuous Improvement skill development programs
- Brown Bag information sharing sessions