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Police Athletic League Literacy Activity Specialist in New York, New York

The Police Athletic League (PAL) is the largest independent youth organization in New York City that provides educational and recreational activities for children and young adults. PAL Inc. and The New York City Police Department work in partnership to provide communities with summer and after-school recreational and educational activities.

We are looking for a part-time Literacy Activity Specialist who will be responsible for facilitating engaging, fun, and educational weekly workshops for the purpose of improving literacy skills among teenagers ages 13-19. Utilizing a wide array of resources to include newspapers, magazines, books, and poetry, the literacy specialist will be responsible for developing, implementing, and managing a comprehensive literacy program at the designated center.

This position is available at the Harlem Center - Manhattan. (

Major Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop strong rapport with all youth based on a strength-based perspective.

  • Facilitate weekly group workshops.

  • Prepare discussion guides chosen reading the material —including the pre/during/post-reading comprehension questions, games, and other activities that may be involved in reading the specific materials chosen.

  • Establish a safe, comfortable environment that encourages youth participation at all levels.

  • Establish and implement clear policies and practices for assessing, recording, and reporting on teens’ achievement in line with the program.

  • Guide and direct teen discussions based on materials.

  • Model and coach instructional methods in a variety of settings (whole group and small group) and provide follow-up support.

  • Select instructional materials to meet teen needs and interests.

  • Assess teens using a variety of measures to determine the pace of your lesson to specific instructional needs.

  • Generate an organized system of reading and writing materials for teens.

  • Maintain a comprehensive inventory of instructional materials and resources.

  • Work in conjunction with other specialists and volunteers to develop programming and offer a wide range of activities, relevant to the needs of the participants and center.

  • Present ideas and suggestions for improving programming as often as possible.

  • Build positive relationships with youth and staff and serve as a role model with respect to demeanor, communication, and behavior.

  • Ensure that program areas are neat and clean; equipment and supplies stored securely.

  • Quickly identify and seek to resolve conflicts and behavioral problems in consultation with the administrative staff.

Additional Responsibilities

  • File incident reports (accidents, injuries, altercations, etc.) no later than the day of the incident.

  • Submit weekly, monthly, written and verbal reports as requested.

  • Obtain participant attendance sheet and submit every week to administrative staff.

  • When directed, attend meetings with staff, parents, volunteers and community residents as needed to assist in program delivery and promotion of programs.

  • Interact with parents and keep open lines of communication to better understand and manage youth.

Knowledge, Skills, and Qualifications

  • A minimum of sixty credits towards a degree from an accredited college or university in Education or a related field.

  • A minimum of two years of work experience in a non-profit youth or social service agency.

  • Demonstrated skills and competency in youth service and education.

  • Demonstrated ability to engage high-risk adolescent youth

  • Understanding of conflict resolution, mediation, and mentoring concepts.

  • Good communication skills, both oral and written. Ability to speak professionally to staff, members, parents, groups and community residents.

  • Familiarity with office protocols involving dress, demeanor, record keeping, confidentiality, staff meetings, visitors, and employee use of supplies and equipment.

The Police Athletic League seeks to hire staff who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. All positions at PAL are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. All are encouraged to apply.

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