Youth Education/Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator 2 (YEC/SAC) with Aquidneck Community Table
Aquidneck Community Table’s (ACT) mission is to grow a healthy local food system, accessible to all on our island. ACT brings together partners in the community to collectively build a healthier future, generating events and discussions to explore solutions that strengthen the island’s food system, support the local economy, and expand access to fresh food for everyone. ACT’s programs work directly in communities to grow more food, teach life skills, and empower individuals to take pride in their neighborhood green spaces.
ACT serves the population of Aquidneck Island in the towns of Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth, approximately 60,000 year-round residents, and considerably more in the tourist season. ACT was formed in 2016 when three existing organizations joined forces, now operating three farmers markets (two summer and one year-round), five community gardens, two school gardens, the Food Explorers program for children, and several events designed to generate a community-wide conversation about food system change. ACT continues to build additional gardens, particularly in urban areas where economic challenges make it difficult for the community to access fresh fruits and vegetables, with more garden spaces, as well as a pollinator garden, recently added to ACT’s community farm in Middletown on land conserved by the Aquidneck Land Trust. ACT has adapted to meet the needs of the community during the pandemic and continues to work to make fresh, nutritious foods available to all.
Aquidneck Community Table strongly recommends that staff and TerraCorps Service Members be fully vaccinated before the start of the TerraCorps service year. The reason we are strongly encouraging vaccination is because the Member will spend a significant amount of time serving in-person with volunteers, staff, students, or community members. We will also continue to enforce the existing COVID-19 safety policy in our office and gardens and adjust accordingly as more guidance is provided by the Rhode Island Department of Health and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Aquidneck Community Table has proposed the following potential project(s) for their Youth Education Coordinator/ Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator:
- The Member would help expand ACT’s existing garden education program at Pell Elementary School by developing curriculum and teaching hands-on garden lessons (in English and Spanish). With many Pell students facing food insecurity at home, the school garden offers an interactive approach to exploring nutritious, wholesome foods while learning healthy habits and understanding where food comes from. Students learn to nurture plants from seed to fruit, coming to understand what plants need to grow and flourish. The Member would lead elementary school students in garden activities while teaching the basics of gardening and growing food — connecting garden lessons to curriculum standards taught in the classroom. Facilitate educational opportunities in ACT’s food forest and pollinator gardens. The Member would also allow ACT to respond to requests from other schools and youth programs on Aquidneck Island. The Member would support the growth and sustainability of ACT’s garden education initiatives through program planning and coordination, development of lesson plans, and outreach to community members.
- The Member would engage new volunteers in projects at our community gardens, including activities at the permaculture food forest and perennial pollinator garden at our Island Community Farm site in Middletown. For instance, the Member may lead volunteers in the installation of educational signage and botanical labels in the food forest. The Member may lead volunteers in fall clean up or spring planting, bringing together a broad range of generations, garden experience levels, and ethnic backgrounds. The Member may also coordinate workshops to share the basics of gardening and encourage and inspire those who are new to growing food.
- The Member would explore the feasibility of an island-wide Food Summit to begin discussions on the development of an Aquidneck Island Food Strategy. ACT has held successful food summits in the past and we are eager to reconvene with other food system leaders in the region to align goals. As the pandemic continues to expose the vulnerabilities and inequities in our food system, ACT works to lift up community conversations and highlight efforts that work towards food security, environmental stewardship, and a healthy future for all. The Member would coordinate and communicate with local food leaders to map out a plan for a potential food summit in the near future.
NOTE: Supervisors and Members collaborate to create a more comprehensive plan. This outlines major capacity building projects, professional goals, and how it connects to their performance measures.
Required AmeriCorps Qualifications:
- A US citizen, US national, or Lawful Permanent Resident Alien of the U.S.
- At least 18 years old
- A minimum of a high school diploma or GED
- No more than three previous terms as an AmeriCorps member
- Pass a criminal history background check, including an FBI check
- Strong writing and verbal communication skills
- Able to serve both independently and as a member of a team
- Comfort navigating computer software programs (Google Suite, Microsoft Word)
- Training and experience pertinent to the Youth Education / Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator position and projects listed above
- Experience training and educating community members and volunteers
- Farming or gardening experience
- Experience teaching children
- Fluency in Spanish is highly desirable
AmeriCorps Member Eligibility Requirements:
This year’s TerraCorps members will serve from August 30th, 2021-July 29, 2022. All Members are expected to serve full-time, commit to serve for the entire 11-month term, and complete at least 1,700 hours of service, including time spent in trainings and service with the full TerraCorps team. Weekly service averages 38 hours and commonly includes some night and/or weekend activities. Training hours will not exceed 20% of the member’s total term of service. Members are required to serve and participate in a TerraCorps service day on MLK National Day of Service.
AmeriCorps programs provide equal opportunities. TerraCorps will recruit and select persons in all positions to ensure a diverse and inclusive climate without regard to race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, color, political affiliation, creed, national origin, marital status, or any other status as protected by federal, state, and local laws. We encourage applications from individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations for interviews and service upon request.
Member Compensation and Benefits:
- TerraCorps Members will receive a living allowance of up to $15,600 (pre-tax) over the 11-month term of service, which is $624 (pre-tax) per 25 biweekly pay periods.
- TerraCorps assists Members in obtaining health insurance coverage. Reimbursement of costs may be available.
- Childcare assistance may be provided in cases of financial need.
- Upon successful completion of a term of service, AmeriCorps Members receive a taxable $6,345 education award that can be used for future education or to pay off existing school loans. See nationalservice.gov/resources/edaward for info and restrictions.
- TerraCorps Members are eligible for forbearance of most federally-guaranteed student loans, as well as payment of interest accrued during service.
- TerraCorps Members will receive mentorship, training, and career development opportunities while serving directly with community-based nonprofits.
- TerraCorps Members experience the personal rewards of national service and community engagement.
Note: TerraCorps members are responsible for their own housing and must have access to reliable transportation.
How to Apply:
Member applications will be collected by TerraCorps and shared with Service Sites. Do not send applications directly to a Service Site.
A complete member application includes a resume, two references, and an application form. Member application and detailed instructions can be found here.
We strongly encourage interested individuals to apply as soon as possible once applications are posted. Position offers and acceptances will be made on a rolling basis. The program aims to fill all positions by late June, but Service Sites will continue interviews as needed until all positions are filled.
For questions about TerraCorps, contact Lianna Lee, who manages TerraCorps’ recruitment process. Email RI@terracorps.org or call 978-364-9770.