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United Way of Greater Nashville

Associate Director, Early Literacy & Community

United Way of Greater Nashville


Job Summary

About Us: 

When children have strong reading skills by third grade, they are set up for greater academic and financial success – for life.

That’s why forming a solid learning foundation in early childhood is one of the most crucial things we can do to help all children succeed. Raising Readers Nashville (RRN) is a collaborative community group uniting to improve the systems and structures that support Nashville’s families and young children, cultivating an environment where all children can grow the reading skills they need to thrive.

 RRN uses a Collective Impact Framework that aims to achieve population and systems-level change by advancing equity, collective learning, mission alignment, and integration of collective action. For more information on this systems-change model, visit CollectiveImpactForm.org.

 The Raising Readers Nashville team is part of the United Way of Greater Nashville’s Community Impact department. The RRN team works to maintain and support a highly diverse group of involved partners to deeply understand varying perspectives to develop informed solutions and positive outcomes. We are a team of collaborative, innovative, and equity-focused professionals seeking a new Associate Director who has a deep understanding of the complexities of this work and is committed to the communication and collaboration needed to realize long-term change.

Job Responsibilities

Position Description: 

Bring your leadership, strategy, and vision for Raising Readers Nashville, where you will be responsible for ensuring all RRN initiatives achieve the scaling of presence and impact within the community. As the Associate Director of RRN, you will work within the Community Impact Division of United Way of Greater Nashville (UWGN) to ensure children succeed socially, emotionally, and academically; and teachers, families, and communities thrive. This role is integral in forming and strengthening key organizational partnerships to advance UWGN’s mission of supporting communities through education, listening channels, and empowerment.

Essential Functions:

The following sections indicate the essential functions required to perform this job successfully.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. This profile is not intended to be all-inclusive of tasks and responsibilities required; it describes the critical responsibilities associated with this position.

Leadership, Strategic Planning, and Budgeting:

  • Work with the Director, RRN, and guiding team/work groups to implement and refine a vision and strategic plan for RRN initiatives, detailing the strategies, tactics, systems, and resources necessary to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Collaborate with the Director, RRN, to track progress on the strategic plan for RRN initiatives to ensure that UWGN can successfully fulfill and sustain its mission as the initiative’s backbone into the future.
  • Support the alignment of strategies through clear communication channels
  • Supervise staff, volunteers, contractors, and interns to support the work.
  • Build rapport, coach, and support RRN partners and co-chairs to ensure they have the knowledge and resources to achieve systems goals.
  • Facilitate and support 3-5 work groups, infrastructure teams, and guiding teams.
  • Build co-chair facilitation guide and tools; conduct training with RRN partners to increase community leadership capacity.
  • Stay abreast of best practices, current research, and policy across the early education continuum.
  • Represent UWGN at community tables as appropriate and determined by the Director, RRN.
  • Provide leadership to RRN in the absence and at the request of the Director, RRN.

 Partnership, Network, and Professional Development:

  •  Develop and maintain positive relationships with community partners to advance RRN initiatives and other education-related bodies of work.
  • Develop and deliver presentations to diverse groups to raise community awareness about RRN’s work.
  • Provide direction and support to partner organizations and key community stakeholders in aligning their work to the common agenda.
  • Build partnerships that advance UWGN’s goals, increase resources and knowledge within the education focus area, and position UWGN to expand its presence and impact in the community.
  • Work in tandem with the RRN team to develop, track, and report on progress for grants
  • Coordinate with other communities to understand the current landscape of local, regional, and national early education activities to inform the local approach to education initiatives and community partners.


Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of and experience in early care and education programs and systems (birth to third grade preferred).
  • Knowledge of and experience in systems change, systems building, collective impact, and community-based work.
  • Leadership skills and experience, including managing teams, volunteer programs, or community-based initiatives involving different disciplines, backgrounds, and interests.
  • Experience collecting, analyzing, and using data to inform planning, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Demonstrated understanding and commitment to equity, diversity, and cultural competence issues in early childhood system building.
  • Excellent communication skills, including meeting facilitation, public speaking and presentation, and writing skills.
  • Experience developing, tracking, and implementing complex strategic plans.
  • Experience in stakeholder engagement and relationship building with community partners.
  • Demonstrated ability to flexibly handle and prioritize multiple activities in order to respond to changing circumstances or priorities.
  • The ability to set priorities, support teams in managing multiple projects, and recommend a practical course of action.
  • Strong decision-making skills with sound judgment in recognizing the scope of authority.
  • Proficient digital skills in Microsoft Office, Google Suite, Canva, Zoom, digital whiteboards, and project management software.
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in early childhood, education, human development, public policy, public administration, or a related field.


 Relationship Management:  

  • Builds relationships internally and externally with organizational stakeholders to grow and sustain the enthusiasm for UWGN’s work.
  • Demonstrates credibility in all interactions.
  • Listens effectively, considers the perspective of others, and approaches problem-solving thoughtfully and from a position of partnership.
  • Effective Communication:
    • Effectively communicates through oral, written, and technological means.
    • Practices active listening, collaboration, and clear expression to ensure specific information is successfully received by others.
    • Plans and delivers communication that makes an impact and persuades the audience.
    • Gives positive and encouraging recognition to those who have contributed.
  • Outcome Motivated:
    • Drives results by effectively building relationships and capitalizing on opportunities to build support for early education work.
    • Creates and maintains high-performance standards that ensure programs are excellent and institutional knowledge is documented and shared in a way that safeguards long-term success.
  • Strategy and Planning:
    • Works with the RNN Director to develop long-term strategies for UWGN Initiatives that are aligned with UWGN’s mission, vision, strategic plan, areas of work led by the education team, and data-informed community needs.
  • Leadership and Navigation:
    • Exhibits behaviors consistent with the organization’s culture and values
    • Fosters collaboration and understands the most effective and efficient way to accomplish tasks and achieve results within the parameters of processes, systems, and policies.
  • Program Knowledge:
    • Demonstrates knowledge of techniques, research, skills, procedures, best practices, and resources in the early education field to become a subject matter expert.
    • Applies knowledge to provide strategic leadership to the education team, identify issues and internal problems, and continuously improve programs.
    • Continuously work to develop themselves professionally and increase their knowledge and skills.
  • Stress Tolerance:
    • Displays emotional resilience and the ability to withstand pressure on an ongoing basis.
    • Deals with difficult situations while maintaining performance.
    • Seeks support from others when necessary and uses appropriate coping techniques.

Environmental Conditions and Physical Demands:

  •  The ability to occasionally lift and move up to 10 pounds and stand, walk, climb, and balance.
  • This position spends the majority of time seated, working in front of a computer monitor. Manual dexterity should be sufficient to reach/handle items and work with the fingers.
  • UWGN will ensure this position’s office-based workspace is in a well-lighted, heated, air-conditioned indoor setting with adequate ventilation.

Additional Information


United Way of Greater Nashville has competitive salaries and benefits.

How to Apply

Please apply at:  https://secure.entertimeonline.com/ta/CBIZ20474.careers?ApplyToJob=352661380

United Way of Greater Nashville is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


  • Date Posted: September 26, 2023
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Other
  • Service Area: Education
  • Start Date: 10/30/2023
  • Working Hours: M - F, ; 8:00-4:30