Job Openings

Service Learning Coordinator – MassLIFT AmeriCorps Position

Groundwork Somerville will be hosting a Service Learning Coordinator for the 2014-2015 service year through MassLIFT. You can also view this description and application procedures at http://www.mountgrace.org/join-masslift

MassLIFT Service Learning Coordinators (SLCs) help communities connect youth with the natural world and encourage their civic engagement by building the capacity of regional land trusts and partnered organizations to: 1) work with educators and community volunteers to develop and deliver youth-focused service learning and experiential conservation education programs; 2) help local schools develop new curriculum and resources such as schoolyard nature trails, biodiversity inventories, and ecological monitoring programs; 3) plan service programs that develop job skills for college students related to careers in natural resources management, land conservation, and the environmental sciences; 4) identify and coordinate opportunities to partner with youth development programs on community service projects; and 5) organize conservation education workshops and events that engage families in the exploration of local natural history.

MassLIFT AmeriCorps members work with their supervisors to develop and carryout six or more capacity building projects over the course of the service year. Many of these projects will involve recruiting, training, and managing community volunteers. Groundwork Somerville has proposed the following projects for their Service Learning Coordinator:

  1. School Gardens Service Learning – This project would involve the design, organization, and implementation of service learning projects for students/schools as part of an ongoing Farm to School Program, and effort to connect service and gardens-based learning to core standards and school-day curriculum. With a garden in every elementary school (10 total), teachers, principals and coaches regularly request guidance and programming that will facilitate their ability to use their School Garden as classroom space. At the same time, the gardens themselves need regular maintenance to remain vibrant, useful classroom spaces. The Service Learning Volunteer will organize and implement service projects that are neighborhood-based around each school and could include activities such as clean-ups, plantings, habitat improvement, trash removal, removal of invasive species, plantings, and harvesting in garden as well as the surrounding grounds and community. Volunteer will partner with schools, teachers and academic coaches to align existing curriculum goals with opportunities for outdoor and gardens-based teaching, using these public spaces as a tool to improve lesson plans and knowledge retention.
  2. Garden Stewards Program – Groundwork Somerville manages 10 School Gardens throughout the city. We have just launched the Garden Stewards Program in an effort to give each garden a stronger neighborhood identity, and involve more parents and families in their local garden spaces, as well as address some part of the 400-person waiting list for community gardens in Somerville alone. The Service Learning Volunteer would assist in recruitment and management of volunteers, conduct training and garden service days for the school communities. The long-term goal is to recruit and train Lead Garden Stewards from each school or community to coordinate each site.
  3. Green Team Urban Forestry – With a high rate of replacement among street trees in the city, Groundwork Somerville is working with the Board of Aldermen and the Department of Public Works to create an Urban Forestry Team within our youth employment program. With training from city partners in tree identification, indicators of tree health, and other basic urban forestry concepts, the Green Team would conduct urban forestry focused assessments of parks and publicly owned trees. The Service Learning Volunteer will work to coordinate partners in local watershed organizations, City departments and the community to develop a pilot project in the Mystic River Reservation. This can extend to the identification and control of invasive species like bittersweet, which spreads profusely, twining around and choking out valuable trees. The Green Team coordinator and Green Team youth will be trained in invasive species identification and best practices for removal.

Development of these and other projects will occur during the first two months of service and consider the member’s interests and skills.

Essential Qualifications:

  • A strong interest in land stewardship and hands-on conservation projects
  • Strong writing, communication, and networking skill
  • Able to work both independently and as a member of a team
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office programs

DesiredQualifications:

  • Experience recruiting, training, and managing volunteers
  • Experience working with young people
  • Experience leading outdoor programs
  • Highly organized
  • Knowledge of Massachusetts State Education Standards
  • Fluency in Spanish, Creole or Portuguese
  • Some gardening background/knowledge

 

How to Apply

Please submit an application only if you are willing to commit to the full 1,700 hours and 11-month term of service. Also consider in advance your ability to live on a pre-tax stipend of $12,400 paid over the 11 months. Our program does not provide housing.

1) Review the position descriptions posted above for each of the host sites to determine which positions and placements best match your skills and interests.

2) Download and complete the member application form. Include names and contact information for three references that host sites can call as part of their interview process.

3) Include a 1 – 2 page cover letter, a resume, and the completed application form. Mention in your cover letter what you hope to learn/experience from participation in MassLIFT-AmeriCorps, and describe your interest in community engagement.

4) Scan and save your resume, cover letter, and completed application form as ONE PDF file. Title the application as follows: “LastName_FirstName_MiddleInitial” (i.e.,Smith_Lisa_J.pdf)

5) Email your application to MassLIFTapp@mountgrace.org.

6) Send a separate email to jobs@groundworksomerville.org to let us know you have applied.

Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled. Applicants may get interviews and position offers from more than one site. Please be prepared to accept positions within 5 days of receiving an offer.

The program aims to fill all 21 service positions by July 25; however, host sites will continue interviews as needed past that date.

Member Compensation and Benefits:

  • 2014 MassLIFT-AmeriCorps members will receive a living allowance of $12,400 over the
    11-month term of service.
  • AmeriCorps assists with health insurance coverage.
  • Childcare assistance may be provided in cases of financial need.
  • Upon successful completion of their year of service, AmeriCorps members will receive a $5,645 education award, which can be used for future education or to pay off existing school loans.
  • Individuals in approved AmeriCorps positions are eligible for forbearance of most federally-guaranteed student loans.
  • MassLIFT members gain skills in land conservation, attend a statewide conference, and participate in team trainings and other professional development opportunities.
  • AmeriCorps members experience the personal rewards of national service and community engagement.
  • MassLIFT members are responsible for their own housing and must have access to reliable transportation.

Are you willing to devote a year of service to increasing the pace of land conservation in Massachusetts, engaging community volunteers in conservation-minded service, and strengthening the stewardship of watersheds and protected lands? If so, consider joining MassLIFT-AmeriCorps!

If you have questions about the application procedure please contact the Director of Community Engagement, Sean Pollock, at 978-248-2055 x16 or pollock(at)mountgrace.org.