All AmeriCorps Food Educators and School Farmers lead garden and cooking based education in our partner schools. Each member of the team also takes a lead role in some aspect of our programming (garden/agricultural specialist, social media specialist, cooking with kids specialist, after school program specialist, etc.)
Lead garden lessons during Spring and Fall
Lead cooking lessons during Winter
Lead or support after school gardening and/or cooking clubs
Lead camp-style programs during Spring Break and Summer camps
Lead efforts to maintain/improve school gardens at your assigned school(s)
Assist with the recruitment, supervision, and appreciation of program volunteers
Collect and track data (e.g. attendance, pre- and post-tests to track impact of programming, volunteer hours)
Support special events and other relevant food education opportunities for families as they arise
Community Need Addressed
When kids eat better, they learn better, act better, and feel better. Empowering young people to make healthy food choices is one of the simplest and most effective ways that we can help all youth – particularly those living in high-risk circumstances – to be more successful in their lives physically, emotionally, and academically.
When kids feel competent, trusted, and meaningfully engaged, they are less likely to be disruptive. Many kids who do not thrive in traditional learning settings come to life when offered a chance to grow, cook, and eat healthy food.
Most of our gardening, cooking, and eating programs take place on public school grounds, during the school day, in collaboration with classroom teachers and food service staff. Additionally, Common Threads offers after-school and summertime programs.
Our vision is of a world where:
All children are given the resources, information, and experiences they need to make healthy food choices every day.
The food that kids are exposed to - particularly at school - sets them up for a life of healthy eating.
Healthy food and healthy food education becomes an expected norm, understood as an integral part of a good basic education.
Every year, Common Threads gardens and cooks with children and connects kids with healthy food in schools. We currently garden, cook, and eat with close to 7000 children annually and collaborate with teaching and food service staff in 20+ schools across four Whatcom County school districts (Bellingham, Mt. Baker, Ferndale, Lynden.) Many of our partner schools are Title 1 (more than 50% of the student population is eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.)
In addition to our school-based programming, Common Threads has identified a need and opportunity to better meet the nutritional and recreational needs of our community’s most vulnerable youth through after-school supper clubs in low-income apartment complexes as well as an opportunity to build a broader community of best practices in food education through partnership with similarly missioned nonprofits across Western Washington.
We want kids to grow up making food choices that are good for their bodies, their communities, and the environment. We also want to support them in feeling joyfully engaged in learning.
Childcare assistance if eligible, Education award upon successful completion of service, Health coverage, Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
A chance to serve with a great,fun team and make a meaningful difference in the lives of children.
Food handler's permit
Skills you will gain
Teaching, gardening, cooking, grant seeking, community organizing
Competencies You Will Develop
Demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, Lead group discussion, Listen to and consider others' viewpoints, Maintain open lines of communication with others, Speak clearly, in precise language and in a logical, organized and coherent manner, Turn taking, Write cleary and effectively
Creativity & Problem Solving
Able to identify and define the problem, Capable of generating possible solutions, Communicate the problem to appropriate personnel, Improvise, Provide relevant expertise, Select and implement well-considered solution
Derive consensus, Develop constructive working relationships and maintain them over time, Establish a high degree of trust and credibility with others, Interact professionally and respectfully with supervisors and co-workers, Stay positive and outcome oriented, Use appropriate strategies and solutions for dealing with conflicts and differences to maintain a smooth workflow
Accepts responsibility, Anticipate the consequences of decisions, Identify and prioritize the key issues involved to facilitate the decision making process, Involve people appropriately in decisions that may impact them, Quickly respond with a back-up plan if a decision goes amiss
Carefully consider which tools or technological solutions are appropriate for a given job, Consistently choose the best tool or technological solution for the problem at hand, Operate tools and equipment in accordance with established operating procedures, safety standards, and ethical guidelines, Seek opportunities to improve knowledge of tools and technologies that may assist in streamlining work and improving productivity
Able to prioritize various competing tasks, Create environment of contribution, Create plan of action, schedule tasks so that work is completed on time, Demonstrate the effective allocation of time and resources efficiently, Drive decision making, Effectively delegate tasks, Facilitate group planning, Set goals
Be pleasant, courteous, professional and respectful when dealing with internal and external customers or clients, Evaluate customer or client satisfaction, Honor the privilege of being able to work with and for those being served, Provide personalized, prompt, and efficient service to meet the requirements, requests and needs of customers, Recognize the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality of those being served, Understand and anticipate the needs of others, Understand the importance of one's role in the functioning of the organization, Understand the significance of maintaining a healthful and safe environment