Farm Based Education Coordinator
2018 Job Description
Common Ground is a center for environmental learning and leadership in New Haven, Connecticut where a diverse community of children, young people, and adults cultivate habits of healthy living and sustainable environmental practice. Farm meets forest meets city on Common Ground’s 20 acre campus at the base of West Rock Ridge. The site abuts the 1500 acre West Rock State Park, sharing hiking trails, wildlife, and diverse natural habitats with the surrounding forests. Common Ground delivers three tightly knit programs on site and in the community.
Common Ground’s college preparatory Charter High School uses the site and the City as an organizing principle of its curriculum which is guided by an ecological framework that recognizes the connection and interdependence of all living and non-living things.
The Environmental Education Center receives more than 12,000 community members/year who participate in festivals, field trips, after-school programs, and other educational opportunities on site.
Our Urban Farm is a key resource for both the high school and community programs, as well as for the greater New Haven community. It includes both production and educational gardens used to demonstrate and teach lessons in agriculture.
Common Ground has a commitment to examining the intersection of social, environmental, and food justice issues; how systems of oppression, including white privilege, impact the organization’s work; and how resistance to those systems can offer windows into a more sustainable society. For more information on Common Ground, see www.commongroundct.org.
Common Ground is looking for a part time, year round Farm Based Education Coordinator who is responsible for engaging the Common Ground (CG) community in areas of food justice by supporting educational programs related to our farm.
Our farm is a valuable resource for both the CG High School and Community Programs. It includes a ¾ acre production farm, greenhouse, compost operation and a variety of livestock. The Farm Based Education Coordinator plays an important role in supporting educational projects involving the farm, requiring strong skills in leading groups of youth and adults in food justice and farm based activities. This position also involves hands on support of farm and kitchen work. The Farm Based Education Coordinator works closely with Farm, High School and Environmental Education Center Staff to plan and execute educational programs at Common Ground HS and to support our other Community Programming needs. Their work will greatly contribute to an overall goal of building an integrated whole organization where people understand, contribute to, and collaborate in each others’ work across the organization. There is a lot of room for innovation and growth in this position.
- Work directly with high school teachers and students to build their capacity to use the farm as an opportunity for active, authentic place-based learning, and to integrate food justice and agricultural themes into their courses.
- Work with High School (HS) teachers, Farm staff, and the Environmental Leadership Manager to lead one time or recurring “hands-on” lessons revolving around all subjects, from math to social justice, as they intersect with food and agriculture.
- Lead the Green Jobs Corps Crew, our HS student employment program, on work days with our animals, and on the farm and occasionally at other sites.
- Conduct lessons and supervise our HS farm and animal afterschool clubs.
- Support farm related youth leadership opportunities like conferences, special projects and farm internships.
- Do outreach and education in the HS, including tastings and other cooking activities.
- Support adult education and farm activities through our partnership with the School Garden Resource Center and our Volunteer Days.
- Work with Farm Director and the CG Chef to develop education around Farm to Cafeteria initiatives.
- Collaborate with CG Community Programs, which includes programming for younger school age students from surrounding areas, about supporting Farm Based education for their programs.
Farm and Kitchen
- Participate in basic farm tasks outside of education based responsibilities; these could include greenhouse work, irrigation, weeding, harvesting and other special projects.
- Support and communicate with kitchen staff about processing farm produce and student preferences.
- Regularly communicate with the Farm Director about weekly teaching and farming responsibilities.
- Work with the Farm Staff to set goals and expectations for school and community education and develop parameters to measure outcomes and success.
- Maintain records and resources related to education program administration.
- Participation in overall organizational professional development, meetings, fundraisers, events and activities.
This is a part time, hourly, year-round position with some seasonal variation. The hours and days required by this job vary with the season and the cycles of work on the farm and at the school. Tuesday-Saturday schedule is preferred in the Spring, Summer and Fall to support youth and other community programming. Some evenings and weekends may also be required. We are able to be flexible for the right candidate.
- Knowledge about and commitment to working for an organization that is committed to social justice, the dismantling of systems of oppression, and creating a just, equitable, and inclusive culture.
- Experience working directly with diverse audiences of high school aged youth and implementing outdoor or garden-based education and leadership development.
- Experience working closely with a racially and economically diverse urban school community.
- Knowledge of sustainable agriculture, food systems and food justice.
- Ability to facilitate different types of programs such as an afterschool club, HS internship, volunteer days, and working with classroom teachers.
- Ability to make complex information accessible and relevant.
- Strong critical thinking, problem solving skills, and ability to work independently.
- Excellent communication and interest in collaboration.
- Flexibility regarding the often changing needs and schedules of the school and farm.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Docs and comfortable with social media.
- Demonstrated experience with projects that require attention to detail and efficiency.
- Ability to lift 50lbs.
- Willingness to work outside in all kinds of weather.
- Experience working on a farm or urban garden.
- Experience working with small livestock (poultry, goats and sheep)
- Experience with Culinary or Farm to Table education
- Familiarity with HS curriculum development and/or Popular Education theories of learning
- Spanish Speaking
- Drivers License or willingness to get one.
- ServSafe Certification
$17/hr; up to 30 hours a week (varies seasonally)
Required late summer/early fall and winter 1 week vacations (unpaid), we can adjust other hours to make up for this time off.
This is a part time position with no medical benefits.
Position Type: Part time; up to 30 hours a week (varies seasonally)
Position Length: One year renewable basis.
Please send your Resume and Cover Letter to Deborah Greig by February 9th. firstname.lastname@example.org
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION POLICY STATEMENT
Common Ground is particularly eager for candidates who help us fulfill our commitment to building a racially and culturally diverse faculty and staff.
It is the policy of the New Haven Ecology Project, Inc. and Common Ground High School that no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise discriminated against under any program, including employment, because of race, color, religious creed, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, civil union status, sexual orientation, mental retardation, and past/present history of mental disorder, learning disability and physical disability.
It is the policy of the New Haven Ecology Project, Inc. and Common Ground High School to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals without regard to age, color, marital status, civil union status, national origin, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender in all personnel actions, including recruitment, evaluation, selection, daily interactions, promotion, compensation, training and termination.
In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, it is the policy of the New Haven Ecology Project, Inc. and Common Ground High School not to discriminate against protected qualified applicants and employees with disabilities in all aspect of employment.