*Rolling Applications Accepted, Interviews start May 2020. Please apply through the Climate Corps Fellowship, AmeriCorps portal.*
**Three Positions Available**
Position Title: Life Lab Educator in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District - Offered through Climate Corps Fellowship, AmeriCorps
Term of Service: Full-time, September 1, 2020– July 15, 2021
Time Requirements: ~35-40 hours/week; 1,700 hours in 10.5 month span
The work schedule is aligned with the bell schedule of each school. Typical hours are Monday-Friday 8am-4pm and will include occasional weekend events, when possible.
Life Lab seeks an energetic, skilled and dedicated educator who has a passion for engaging elementary-age children, and a devotion to teaching experiential Garden Science and Classroom Cooking. The ideal candidate will help shape Life Lab’s programs for sustainability and future growth.
-Lead K-2nd Garden Science classes (Fall + Spring) and 3rd-5th Classroom Cooking classes (Winter). About 15 classes per week.
-Maintain 2 physical Garden Classroom spaces. ~15 hours per week total.
-Continue Relationship Building within your School Communities including hosting community outreach booths at school-wide events to promote your school garden programs and host 2 garden community workdays.
-Attend weekly individual check-ins with your Program Manager, weekly Life Lab Educator meetings, a monthly Life Lab Staff meeting, and Life Lab workshops (fees waived).
AmeriCorps Fellows Must:
-Have ability to work in the US
-Have a high school diploma/GED
-Be 17 years old or older
-Pass state criminal and FBI background checks, and a national check in the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry
-Test negatively for tuberculosis
-Be able and willing to commit to the 10.5-month service term
-Transportation Required for getting to and from multiple school sites and moving supplies such as produce for cooking classes and plant starts for garden maintenance.
Desired Qualifications/Characteristics Include:
-A passion for Life Lab’s mission to cultivate children’s love of learning, healthy food and nature through garden-based education.
-A deep commitment to social justice, cross-cultural relevancy, equity and inclusion.
-Experience teaching and working with elementary-age students in public school settings.
-Competency in Spanish.
-Clear and prompt communication.
-Experience prioritizing and managing projects.
-Flexibility and a team player mentality.
-Experience with community outreach.
-Willingness to learn and practice Positive Discipline
Benefits of Service
-Receive a living allowance stipend of $2,115 per month
-Upon the successful completion of your 1,700 hours and term of service, receive a Segal Education Award of $6,195
-Assistance with student loan forbearance
-Health care coverage
-Receive ongoing training & support, including a 4-day orientation, monthly training, a 2-day retreat, and a personal development plan
-Benefit from the robust, ever-growing Climate Corps network of partner organizations and alumni
-Develop sustainability skills, implement impactful climate change resiliency projects, and build partnerships in your community
AmeriCorps is a national service commitment that meets a community’s critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. Climate Corps AmeriCorps partners with local government, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations across California to provide full-time service opportunities in the Bay Area supporting communities’ critical needs in building climate resilience. Climate Corps AmeriCorps fellows dedicate 1,700 hours of service in exchange for leadership and career development, and a living stipend supported by our AmeriCorps grant. Climate Corps AmeriCorps is an exciting opportunity for service-minded individuals who are passionate about building climate resilience for communities. For more information, please visit www.americorps.gov.
About Life Lab
Life Lab is a dynamic and growing nonprofit organization located on the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Farm. Life Lab cultivates children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based programs.
Founded in 1979, Life Lab is a pioneer and national leader in garden-based learning, providing programs, training, and curriculum to inspire children and educators locally and nationally. We serve more than 5,000 children each year through programs at partner elementary schools across Santa Cruz County and through field trips and day camps in our Garden Classroom in Santa Cruz and our Blooming Classroom in Watsonville. Through professional development workshops, curriculum sales, and a dynamic knowledge network, Life Lab also positively impacts the lives of more than 500,000 children across the U.S. annually.
Life Lab values collaboration, authentic communication, connection with people and nature, and open-inquiring minds. We also value individual initiative and cultivate a culture in which it can thrive. At Life Lab, we know that having a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives on our team improves our decision-making and programs. In addition, we recognize that staff members whose identities and lived experiences are relevant to those of the students we serve help us have the greatest impact. Therefore, we strongly encourage applicants who have experience working with Latinx populations from agricultural communities to apply.
About Life Lab Partner Schools Program
Life Lab's Partner School Program strives to create a culture of garden-based learning in elementary schools to enhance science and nutrition education during school day instruction. We recruit, train, and support Life Lab Educators who co-teach with classroom teachers at our partner schools every other week at 7 elementary schools. We host Next Generation Science Standard garden classes for all TK-2nd graders and Kids Cook Nutrition Education and hands-on cooking classes for 3rd-5th graders. We offer free teacher workshops at our Garden Classroom site, facilitate school garden workdays, plant donations, and provide technical support. Our teachers support our programs and agree that our NGSS in the Garden Program improves students’ scientific knowledge, enthusiasm for learning, school pride, and connection to nature. In our Kids Cook Program, 60% of students try a new fruit or vegetable each class, and 71% of our students like or love our produce-heavy recipes.
About the Site Locations
Most of the Life Lab Educator’s work time will be spent at two of the following 7 school sites within the Pajaro Valley Unified School District with the following PVUSD Student Demographics represented. Some of our garden sites are co-managed with Fitness 4 Life after-school staff.
Hall District Elementary's school garden is an expansive, mainly flat garden with twenty garden beds, a fruit tree orchard, and several learning circles. It is a 5-minute walk from the parking lot and main office. ~10 hours a week to maintain.
Starlight Elementary’s school garden is a small L-shaped garden wedged between classrooms with 4 garden beds and 10 fruit trees. It is a 5-minute walk from the parking lot. This garden has small pathways.. ~5 hours a week to maintain.
Ohlone Elementary’s garden is a large garden which includes two learning circles, 10+ garden beds, and 10 fruit trees in a sloped area located past a narrow pathway. ~8-10 hours of maintenance per week.
H.A. Hyde Elementary’s garden is an open space with a learning circle, fruit trees creating a perimeter, with crops directly sown into the ground. ~5 hours per week.
MacQuiddy Elementary’s garden is a large garden with 6 beds for produce, ~20 fruit trees, and 2 learning circles. ~8-10 hours per week of maintenance.
Ann Soldo Elementary’s garden has 14 beds, perennial borders and a large teaching area. 3 min walk from main office. Uneven ground. ~ 6 hours per week maintenance.
Amesti Elementary’s garden has 10 beds, perennial borders, a large teaching area, and a greenhouse. 5 min walk from main office and parking. Uneven ground. ~8 hours per week maintenance.
The Life Lab office is located in an office trailer on the UC Santa Cruz farm, a 5-10 minute walk on a dirt path from the nearest parking lot. Closer parking is available for anyone with a disabled parking placard, and Life Lab makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with known physical or mental disabilities. We also have a field trip site in West Watsonville, check out the kids thoughts on our field trip program here: Pajaro Valley Life Lab Field Trip Site Video.
Link to job description PDF - file:///C:/Users/jakem/Downloads/Life%20Lab%20Educator%20Job%20Description-%202020-2021.pdf