AmeriCorps Food and Farm Educator 2021-2022

For the 2021 – 2022 school year, the South Whidbey School District, in partnership with Whidbey Island Nourishes and Readiness To Learn is recruiting for its AmeriCorps team to help enrich the school district’s robust farm program and connect it to health and nutrition education.

Our School Farm CAFE (Culinary Arts and Farm Education) program is seeking two AmeriCorps Food and Farm Educators who are enthusiastic, energetic and capable individuals with experience growing food, and who love working with kids, teaching, and cooking.

Since 2014, the South Whidbey School District has been growing fresh vegetables using organic practices integrated with garden-based curriculum. The program is now a specialist garden science class normally taught to 650 students K-6 at the SW Elementary School and High School weekly. During this pandemic we have been able to continue growing and teaching at the School Farms. Students are now beginning to return to school in greater numbers, and we also have a “school farmers at home” program.

The students are the farmers, and produce from our 1.25 acres of school farms is delivered to the cafeteria for the school lunches, used in culinary lessons, eaten on the spot at the farm by the students, and used in school events. School farm produce is also distributed to two non-profits: Whidbey Island Nourishes for K-4 snacks and their nutrition programs, and to Readiness to Learn for after-school and summer programs.

Our AmeriCorps members work closely with our farm team and certified farm teacher to provide students with hands-on learning and farming that culminates in healthy eating. On a daily basis, our members will engage in multiple 45-minute classes with our farm teacher, using the growing seasons as the basis for the daily curriculum. Members and staff will lead students in instructional experiences focused on preparing the soil, planting, caring for, harvesting and enjoying the food that is grown.

In addition to Whidbey Island Nourishes, South Whidbey School Farms also partners with the Good Cheer Food Bank and the Good Cheer Garden. As well as serving the school community, the South Whidbey School Farms Americorps educators will become part of a community of young farmers and apprentices who are passionate about growing food, and food justice, here on South Whidbey.

For an overview of recent activities, click HERE.

Responsibilities:

  • Participate in all tasks associated with cultivating the school farms at the Elementary and High Schools  – seeding, planting, weeding, watering, general maintenance, etc.
  • Harvest school farm produce for deliveries to school lunches, WIN, and Good Cheer
  • Work closely with garden specialist teacher and farm team to develop lessons for K-6 classes
  • Assist with teaching daily K-6 garden specialist classes, with opportunities to lead classes
  • Assist with garden elective and agriculture class at the SW High School as needed
  • Support culinary educator in preparing, teaching, and clean-up for culinary classes
  • Develop social media content (blog and facebook posts) about the school farm
  • Contribute to planning and executing yearly fundraising efforts
  • Support the school farm’s participation in major school events

Requirements:

  • Previous experience and comfort working with children aged Kindergarten – 12th grade, especially K-6
  • Previous experience in farming preferred, or a strong interest and willingness to learn
  • Experience or interest in culinary education and nutrition
  • Strong communication skills
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • An ability to work independently and in a team.
  • A passion for food, outdoor education, and healthy eating
  • A willingness to work outdoors in all weather conditions
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Flexibility, patience, and a sense of humor

Term of service: September 1, 2021 – July 15, 2022
More specific information about stipend and educational award is available on the Washington Service Corps website.
Please send your resume and a cover letter to Cary Peterson, School Farms Manager, cpeterson@sw.wednet.edu

We are accepting applications on a rolling basis and will hire promptly when the right candidate comes along.

Contact us right away if you are inspired to join our team!