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AmeriCorps/VISTA Job Opportunities

Two AmeriCorps/VISTA Opportunities at North Elementary School

North Elementary acquired a garden-based learning initiative years ago and maintains about an acre of collective garden space today that is a regular site for environmental observation, engagement, and stewardship for attending students, and two positions have been integral to sustaining and growing the program. This fall, there is an Outreach Coordinator position and a Garden Manager position available. These two individuals would routinely work in tandem, but the direct service member would serve as caretaker of educational garden spaces, including one smaller high tunnel, while the indirect service member would build capacity through such tasks as fundraising, grant writing, research, and volunteer recruitment. The positions require a full-time commitment and are more geared toward recent graduates. More information on each of the positions can be found below.

North Elementary VISTA Outreach Coordinator 2021-2022

The AmeriCorps/VISTA is seeking an individual interested in growing and sustaining the school garden program at North Elementary through capacity building activities such as fundraising, grant writing, research, and volunteer recruitment. North Elementary School adopted a garden-based learning initiative in 2011 and has since grown to sustain about an acre of collective garden space on school grounds that is a regular site for observation, engagement, and environmental stewardship for attending preK-5 students. This position would entail indirect, as opposed to direct, service as a AmeriCorps VISTA of the West Virginia's Promise - The Alliance for Youth, a program which seeks to mobilize partners across the state to strengthen the capacity of local communities to develop and support young people. Please check out the Alliance for Youth website here.

Prospective duties of position (which may change depending on need and desired focus of VISTA member):

  • Research history of program and document what has been accomplished
  • Research and develop a “how to manual” that covers: agricultural how-to, bed maintenance, seed orders, supplies
  • Develop a workshop to cover topics; overview of nutrition and physical activity, gardening 101, harvesting 101, menu planning, importance of nutrition
  • Research to provide curriculum development for the program
  • Develop a list of potential volunteers and their roles
  • Train & manage recruited volunteers while revising and implementing COVID-19 regulations Develop $1,000 of cash resources; grants, fundraisers, to sustain, and develop programs Develop an in-kind donation campaign
  • Participate in National Service Days
  • Utilize reporting documents from WV’s Promise to track all service related activities

Qualities needed:

  • Desire to serve.

  • Willingness to acquire new technical knowledge related to the job through suggested and appropriate training sessions.

  • Ability to create and/or edit written reports.

  • Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work.

  • Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization.

  • Ability to work in a team structure.

  • Creative and willing to offer newfound knowledge and ideas.

  • Express interest and passion for the implications of school gardens and the garden-based learning initiative.

  • Experience with children (preferred, but not required).

  • Need to commit to one full year of service.

  • Be a full-time volunteer (35-40 hours per week).

Additional benefits:

  • Living Allowance

  • Health Benefits Plan

  • Life Insurance

  • Childcare

  • Education Award or Post-Service Stipend Loans

Those currently in the position will be concluding their term in late October. We are eager to find a new individual for the role with the option for the previous members to help orient/train any accepted applicant. 

To apply for this position, please send your resume to cpizanias@k12.wv.us

North Elementary Garden Manager 2021-2022

Looking for an individual interested in gardening, agriculture, and food production to facilitate garden-based learning to meet classroom educational standards at North Elementary School. North Elementary School adopted a garden-based learning initiative in 2011 and has since grown to sustain about an acre of collective garden space on school grounds that is a regular site for observation, engagement, and environmental stewardship for attending preK-5 students. Roles and responsibilities of this position include developing relevant ‘garden to classroom’ curricula with teachers, fostering inquiry and observation of natural systems, encouraging environmental stewardship in students and parents, writing monthly newsletters highlighting projects, directing garden volunteers, and most notably, maintaining physical garden spaces and high tunnels. This position entails direct, as opposed to indirect, service as a LifeBridge AmeriCorps member with the promise to support and develop economic opportunity. Since its establishment in 1994, LifeBridge AmeriCorps has created positive change for thousands of individuals across the State of West Virginia fostering an environment of community development.

Prospective duties of position (which may change depending on need and desired focus):

  • Familiarize with tools, water access points, garden apparatus, all storage areas and garden library

  • Manage and maintain all educational garden spaces, excluding decorative and ornamental spaces (watering, weeding, pruning, fertilizing and anything supplemental that may be needed) 

  • Keep an eye on drip-irrigation, and watering schedule

  • Care for and maintain vermicompost boxes

  • Manage waste and compost areas

  • Coordinate with teachers, garden committee, and WVU Extension Services to develop planting schedule

  • Support and encourage indoor garden experiences through use of EarthBoxes

  • Train and manage recruited volunteers while revising and implementing COVID-19 regulations -Develop and instruct requested in-classroom lessons

  • Collaboratively develop monthly garden newsletters - record high tunnel updates, and provide photos

  • Maintain and expand garden website

  • Participate in National Service Days
    Host financial literacy training to meet requirements of economic opportunity position classification

  • Utilize AmeriCorps website and relevant documents to track service-related activities, and log hours

Qualities needed:

  • Desire to serve.

  • Willingness to acquire new technical knowledge related to the job through suggested and appropriate training sessions.

  • Ability to create and/or edit written reports.

  • Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work.

  • Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization.

  • Ability to work in a team structure.

  • Creative and willing to offer newfound knowledge and ideas.

  • Express interest and passion for the implications of school gardens and the garden-based learning initiative.

  • Experience with horticulture, agriculture, gardening (preferred, but not required). Experience with children (preferred, but not required).

  • Ability to lift 50 lbs. and work in an outdoor setting.

  • Need to commit to one full year of service.

  • Be a full-time volunteer (35-40 hours per week).

Additional benefits:

  • Living Allowance

  • Health Benefits Plan

  • Life Insurance

  • Childcare

  • Education Award or Post-Service Stipend Loans

Those currently in the position will be concluding their term in late September. We are eager to find a new individual for the role with the option for the previous members to help orient/train any accepted applicant.

To apply for this position, please send your resume to cpizanias@k12.wv.us.

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