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22 Dec 2021

Operations / Administration Director, Program & Impact

 New York, New York County, New York, United States

Job Description

About Read Ahead

Since 1991, Read Ahead has connected public elementary school students with caring mentors from leading corporate and community partners. During weekly Read Ahead sessions, our volunteer mentors form meaningful relationships with their mentees, and help children to grow their literacy skills, confidence, love of reading, and other skills essential for success. Over 98% of teachers would recommend Read Ahead to a colleague, and our program impacts the lives of over 750 children each year.

The need for Read Ahead is especially urgent in the wake of COVID-19. To meet this moment, Read Ahead developed a completely virtual program in 2020. Combining our 30 years of experience with new technology platforms and an educator-designed curriculum, Read Ahead continues to match children with supportive mentors for fun, live program sessions that build connection, confidence, literacy skills, and more. Our program remains fully virtual for the  2021-22 school year, but we anticipate transitioning to a hybrid model in the future.

With the development of our new virtual program, and anti-racism and anti-oppression commitments (, Read Ahead has an opportunity to deepen our impact for students. We are committed to ongoing improvement as an organization, and are eager to take bold new steps to create better outcomes for the students, families, and schools we serve.

Read Ahead expects each staff member to be an active and engaged collaborator in Read Ahead’s organization-wide efforts to advance DEIB goals including, but not limited to, participating in team meetings and ensuring that all project plans and outcomes are aligned with DEIB goals.

Read Ahead’s Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Commitments are outlined here.

Read Ahead provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetics, or veteran status. We seek to build a diverse staff representative of the communities we serve. All qualified applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

Expectations for Remote and In-Person Work

Read Ahead continues to closely monitor health and safety guidelines in New York City. At this time, the Director role is primarily remote with some in-person expectations. Expectations for remote vs. in-person work may be adjusted as health and safety guidelines change.

We are partnered with nine NYC public elementary schools. Our program currently takes place virtually, however most participants log in from school or afterschool sites, and we expect staff members to conduct periodic school site visits during the school year. For the Director, necessary in-person visits will include some meetings with school or afterschool staff, support during certain program sessions, and quality review visits to ensure program fidelity. The frequency of visits may vary according to specific school or site needs, and we can share more information about what this currently looks like during the interview process. Periodic additional in person work may include other meetings with stakeholders as deemed necessary for program success and / or support for organization-wide events.

Read Ahead has an office located at 50 Broad Street. We are preparing to reopen our office space in January as an optional resource for staff members, but do not have an in-office work requirement at this time and are currently conducting our team meetings remotely. Staff will be notified in advance of any changes to these policies.

Vaccination Policy

As of September 27, 2021, all New York City Department of Education employees, contractors, and visitors are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination before entering any school buildings. Additionally, the city recently announced new vaccination requirements for workplaces. Read Ahead is finalizing our own vaccination and COVID safety policy—which will be aligned with current school guidelines, and compliant with city requirements—and expect to implement it in January.

Position Overview

The Director, Program & Impact directly reports to the Senior Director, Program & Impact. The Director will supervise six direct reports including one full time Senior Program Coordinator and five part-time Program Coordinators (PCs). Key responsibilities include ensuring program fidelity, supervising direct reports, managing school relationships and leading program evaluation.

The Director will work closely with the Senior Director, Program & Impact to ensure that an equity-centered sensibility and approach is interwoven into Read Ahead’s program, partnerships and team dynamics. The Director executes all responsibilities with an anti-racist lens that centers student voices, culturally responsive family engagement strategies, and program quality and evaluation processes.


Program Management 

  • Ensures that Read Ahead continues to deliver a high-quality mentoring program that is executed with a high degree of impact and fidelity across six of our school partners
  • Works in partnership with Senior Director, Program & Impact to regularly evaluate culturally responsive approaches to program sessions within school portfolio
  • Monitors successful implementation of Read Ahead platforms in program sessions including the implementation of Epic, BookNook, and social emotional learning activities
  • Reports family engagement progress and milestones directly to Senior Director, Program & Impact ensuring that PCs regularly check in with family members each month via email, text or calls


  • Leads weekly meetings with each Program Coordinator in school portfolio to share progress on program implementation and supports team with interventions as needed
  • Holds direct reports accountable for tracking attendance on a weekly basis
  • Ensures that PCs regularly provide program highlights on a quarterly basis during the school year for external communication purposes
  • Leads annual performance reviews of direct reports
  • Conducts quarterly mentor communication audits with each Program Coordinator
  • Serves as an expert of Read Ahead’s policies and procedures to ensure that all Program Coordinators consistently communicate organization-wide expectations
  • Ensures that PCs regularly provide program highlights on a quarterly basis during the school year for external communication purposes
  • Supports the design of monthly cross-team management meetings in collaboration with staff members across the organization

School Relationships

  • Leads monthly meetings with school partners and after school programs (i.e. Principal, Community School Director, Assistant Principal, After School Coordinator etc.)
  • Acts as Read Ahead’s primary representative with portfolio of schools including all communications to school partners
  • Hold schools accountable to the partnership agreement, or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed before the start of the school year (i.e. requesting student demographics, monthly meetings, and any other expectations per school)
  • Ensures that the Read Ahead program at each school site has everything needed to be set up for success, including confirming program schedules and logistics with school team
  • Plans teacher appreciation initiatives with portfolio schools and leverages PCs as needed during the school year

Program Quality and Evaluation

  • Schedules periodic site visits at partner schools to conduct observations and provides feedback to Program Coordinators
  • Monitors and analyzes attendance at each school and supports PCs with brainstorming interventions accordingly
  • Manages and execute program evaluation efforts including, but not limited to, stakeholder surveys, attendance reports and share information with senior leadership team for external reporting purposes
  • Performs annual and ongoing system maintenance and updates (ex: pulling reports at the end of the year, updating profile information, conducting database audits, etc.
  • Drives success in the mentor and mentee onboarding process (including mentor-mentee matching) by creating detailed project plans, delegating tasks, tracking and monitoring progress, leading mentor screening process, communicating regular dashboard updates internally, troubleshooting issues, and acting as a strategic advisor to leadership and other team members


  • Passion for Read Ahead’s mission
  • Experience with and committed allyship to communities and students of color.
  • Ability to think strategically, understand the big picture, collaborate effectively with internal and external stakeholders, and implement vision.
  • Ease with engaging in open, productive disagreements with colleagues, with a firm commitment to a decision once made.
  • Highly self-aware and reflective with the ability to give and receive feedback.
  • Proactive problem-solver
  • Enjoys working collaboratively with others but can lead projects independently
  • Seasoned manager and understands how to lead, coach and support staff to grow professionally
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Strong analytical skills and can draw helpful data-driven conclusions
  • 5+ years of experience working with youth-based organizations
  • Excellent facilitation skills and experience leading group meetings
  • Very strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with external stakeholders including school leaders, after school liaisons, and volunteers
  • Practices a growth mindset, along with a deep commitment to genuine learning and self-improvement for themself and others.
  • Familiarity, comfort, and ability to thrive within a small, dynamic team.

Salary / Benefits

$75,000 – $80,000 annual salary. Competitive benefits package includes:

  • 90% health and 100% dental care coverage
  • $3,000 annual employer-funded HRA
  • Eligibility to contribute to 403(b) with up to a 3% match by Read Ahead for all employees who are employed on the last day of the calendar year (e.g. 12/31/2021)
  • Eligibility to participate in pre-tax TransitChek program
  • Pre-tax FSA and Vision Plans offered
  • Vacation day accrual based upon employment anniversary date; during the first year employees accrue 15 days per year and after the first year accrue 20 days per year
  • 10 sick days and 3 personal days per year
  • The Read Ahead office is closed between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day each year, and for all federal holidays
  • Remote work policy offered

Application Deadline: Friday, January 21, 2022

Start Date: ASAP

How to Apply

Submit a resume and cover letter to Evelyn Canela at In your cover letter, include why you are interested in working for Read Ahead and why the Director, Program & Impact role is a good fit for you.

Bureaus: New York. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Operations / Administration.