Literacy Program Specialist

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  • Full-Time
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • This position has been filled

Position Overview:

The Literacy Program Specialist is a key part of the Books for Kids team at Next Door. The position assists the Books for Kids Program Manager in overall operations of the Books for Kids program, and collaboratively develops and implements literacy programming for Next Door’s center-based, home-based and partnership sites, as well as events throughout the Milwaukee community.

The Literacy Program Specialist is a self-motivated, enthusiastic, creative, organized, and team-oriented individual who has a strong interest in providing literacy programming to young children and families.


  • Mission: Positively represents and communicates Next Door’s mission, vision and programs to families, staff, partners, volunteers and others in the community.
  • Read with Me: Creates and implements the Read with Me volunteer reading program at our Capitol Drive campus for center-based and home-based programs. Develops schedules, communicates with classrooms and program managers, engages with volunteers, prepares and distributes books, tracks volunteer hours, and implements all aspects of the library and classroom programming.
  • Mobile Library:  Creates and implements Mobile Library literacy programming for Child Care Partnership sites, center-based family activities, and other community events. Independently prepares for Mobile Library events, travels to and from locations, implements literacy programming, distributes books, directs volunteers, coordinates site staff, and engages children and families in programming. Drives Mobile Library to multiple locations throughout the community. Works with Books for Kids Program Manager and Director of Operations to ensure all vehicle safety and maintenance standards are maintained and verified through accurate and updated recordkeeping.
  • Literacy Programming:  Collaboratively develops and implements Books for Kids, Family Engagement, and other Next Door event programming. Establishes and maintains relationships with program staff to understand the needs of the families served. Respects, celebrates and incorporates the diversity and individuality of our children, families and staff into programming. Understands program details and funding needs that facilitate healthy, nurturing, and interactive engagement of all participants.
  • Libraries: Assists with the maintenance of library resources, sorting areas, and book distribution at 29th Street and Capitol Drive. Creates and maintains a welcoming environment at our Capitol Drive library, in compliance with Next Door and Head Start standards.
  • Volunteers: Builds relationships and oversees the Books for Kids volunteers participating in Books for Kids programs. Communicates with volunteers, provides training and support during programming, records in-kind documentation to the Books for Kids Manager.
  • Books for Kids: Provides quality customer service to participants of the Books for Kids program. Promotes the program and assists with all aspects of the book donation program. Accepts book donations and arranges for transportation between multiple locations, which includes moving and lifting heavy boxes. Coordinates packing and monthly distribution of book orders for community pick-up, partnership sites, and other sites via the Mobile Library. Assists with donation counting, sorting, and record keeping of the donations to Books for Kids. Participates in bi-weekly Books for Kids team meeting.
  • Support: Support the Books for Kids Program Manager with program planning and recordkeeping. Attends and actively participates in Next Door staff meetings, team meetings, and site functions. Performs other duties as assigned.

Accountability and Performance Requirement:

All staff members are accountable for knowing and performing the responsibilities associated with their individual position in an efficient and effective manner, understanding that each of us plays an integral role in the success of our mission.  All staff will support the agency mission, vision, standards of conduct/code of ethics and strategic directions and support administrative decisions.  This must be demonstrated by maintaining a positive work environment, and by behaving and communicating in an appropriate manner with children, families, coworkers, supervisors, and the public, while achieving performance expectations.


  • Excellent time management skills with the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously and meet tight deadlines.
  • Associate’s degree required.
  • Minimum of 1-3 years’ experience in early childhood or early elementary educational program management required.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills required. Experience in giving presentations to individuals and to groups.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, internally and externally, with peer and executive levels, and with community partners and volunteers.
  • Excellent driving skills and driving history.
  • Ability to safely drive the Mobile Library, especially in seasonal conditions.
  • Proficient in using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), Teams and Outlook.
  • Ability to work and cooperate on all levels as a team member.
  • Ability to work with minimum supervision.
  • Confidentiality regarding clients and staff is required.
  • Ability to work respectfully and effectively with a diverse population.
  • Flexibility to work some evenings and weekends for events.
  • Ability to drive and/or travel to work-related functions/meetings.
  • Must have access to a personal vehicle to use on a regular basis, maintain a valid driver’s license and automobile insurance with liability limits of $300,000 (bodily injury) and $25,000 (property damage for each occurrence).
  • Must be willing to have a Tuberculosis Skin Test at the time of hire.

Special Position Requirements: N/A

Preferences: N/A

Work Requirements:

  • Other duties as assigned.

Safety and Health

Next Door is committed to providing a safe work environment and to fostering the well-being and health of its employees. An essential part of each employees’ job is the development of safe working practices and the observance of safety rules, including:

  • Following safety warnings and directions at all times.
  • Using personal safety devices when required.
  • Reporting any unsafe conditions to supervisor.
  • Following process for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.
  • Reporting unsupervised children, after ensuring child’s safety.
  • Guide volunteers to practice safe practices and follow Next Door safety policies and procedures.

Physical Demands:

  • Employee is regularly required to sit/stand and move freely throughout the day.
  • Employee must also climb stairs and walk frequently, with bending, twisting and reaching.
  • Must be alert with good vision, with the ability to hear, speak and read.
  • Must be able to lift up to 40 pounds and load and unload boxes of books from the Mobile Library.
  • Must be able to work evenings and weekends as required.

Physical Activity: N/A

Work Environment:

  • Required to be able to operate a vehicle for travel to other sites for meeting.
  • Noise level consistent with an office located in a child centered environment.


  • Frequent internal and external interaction.
  • Making judgment calls, counseling others, frequent changes in volume of work.
  • Ability to respond in an emergency or crisis situation.
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