The candidate will ideally begin service on October 1, 2017 and serve a minimum of 900 hours though the end of his/her term on July 31, 2018. The exact start and end date is confirmed by the Member Agreement of Participation.
People for Parks (PFP) works towards the day when all kids in Los Angeles live within walking distance of a safe park. PFP does this by turning neighborhood schoolyards into community hubs by opening Community School Parks (CSPs), in dense, low-income regions. PFP’s CSPs provide place-based arts and cultural programming, encourage resident leadership and community development, and build resident capacity through community organizing. PFP’s multi-pronged approach to creative place-making and shared use policy advancement establishes a model for how cities can strengthen local communities and address the issue of park scarcity.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is dedicated to helping community residents transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities of choice and opportunity — good places to work, do business and raise children. LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help community-based organizations revitalize underserved neighborhoods. This strategy extends to the LISC AmeriCorps program where we support placing AmeriCorps Members with local non-profit partners. Members assist in efforts to revitalize underserved neighborhoods across America and create vibrant places for people to live, work, and play.
AMERICORPS MEMBER ACTIVITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Community engagement and assessment to foster involvement and leadership in activities by parents, neighbors, and school staff at two Community School Parks. Specific duties for the position include:
- Conduct community needs assessment to identify and leverage strengths among parents and community members at Community School Parks.
- Conduct surveys, meet regularly and work closely with parents communicating in English and Spanish to learn about (a) community demographics (b) park features that are most important to their particular community and (c) skill sets and interests among parents and neighbors that can be fostered for the benefit of the park. For example, if parents at a CSP identify an interest in gardening, the community organizer will provide coordination support and other resources to help those parents enhance campus gardens, lead workshops, and start clubs.
- Help form a Community School Park Support Council at each site made up of local parent leaders and school staff OR integrate CSP goals into pre-existing parent leadership committees, such as a School’s Parent Resource Center. In either case, the community organizer will work with parent leaders to a) promote park attendance, vibrancy, safety and upkeep, b) empower and recruit other parents and community members to become involved in park through activities such as club formation and workshops, and c) ensure that after-school enrichment programming – made up of physical activity, free-play, nutrition, outdoor learning, and community building – reflect the needs of each unique community.
- Host monthly check-in meetings with Council or key parent leaders – as well as other parents and students - to get input on their roles and ideas to support the park; turn those ideas into concrete goals and carry out tasks to achieve goals.
- Coordinate with LAUSD afterschool enrichment staff to ensure that programming and community engagement goals and objectives align.
- Work with key parent leaders - as well as other parents, students, general school staff (such as principals and teachers) and LAUSD after school enrichment staff - organize quarterly CSP special events focused on play, physical activity, nutrition, outdoor learning and/or community building (depending on communities’ unique needs and interests). Examples include, but are not limited to sports-oriented events, such as volleyball, soccer, basketball or handball clinics, fitness challenge days, Zumba or aerobics workshops, playground management workshops, family picnics, arts and crafts events and beautification days.
- Collaborate with partner organizations on greening, recreation, and/or community building events at CSPs.
- Engage parents, school staff and other stakeholders to elevate the community’s voice in support of Community School Parks with possible participation in key neighborhood, city, and district policy meetings.
- Work with People for Parks Director and Board to refine community organizing strategy.
- Keep a diligent record of parent and community participation in CSP activities and volunteer hours for grant reporting purposes through surveys or Q & As with parents and school staff. Keep or coordinate attendance records or sign-in sheets at events.
- Possible training and education on shared use policy.
- Possible coordination of fundraising training to keep parks open for additional hours and/or beyond grant periods. Includes supporting fundraisers decided upon by parents such as bake sales, for profit events or business outreach. Also includes providing hands-on guidance to parent groups interested in requesting funds from county, city, or neighborhood entities, such as neighborhood councils.
AMERICORPS MEMBER PERFORMANCE
Members will be provided with goal(s) at the onset of the service assignment based on the activities and responsibilities noted above. Members will track goal attainment monthly through an on-line system (training provided). Members will also discuss professional performance in the form of a mid-term and final appraisal.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND SERVICE REQUIREMENTS
Members will perform day-to-day service at People for Parks and serve a minimum of 22 hours per week. Normal service hours are Tuesday through Friday during school hours and on Saturdays during Community School Park hours (10am - 2pm) with 30 minutes for lunch per day. Work hours are subject to vary depending on parent activity schedules. There will be opportunities to serve evenings. Members are required to track time and submit on-line (training provided) timesheets twice per month.
Members are expected to attend and participate in all LISC AmeriCorps sponsored activities including but not limited to:
- Attending a local onboarding session coordinated by LISC and an onsite orientation to our organization;
- Attending a national leadership conference tentatively scheduled for March 2018;
- Attending all locally sponsored monthly meetings;
- Participating in nationally sponsored webinars;
- Actively participating in at least two locally identified and team coordinated service projects (one for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and one for National AmeriCorps Week); and,
- Engaging in any other LISC events as determined by the local LISC office.
This is an AmeriCorps position. LISC and People for Parks will not allow the member to engage in activities that are considered prohibited under the terms of the grant while serving as a LISC AmeriCorps member.
- Desire and ability to work with a diverse group of people, particularly those living in low-income distressed neighborhoods
- Ability to work independently and in a team environment
- Computer skills
- Good written and oral communication skills
- Ability to work a flexible schedule (some night and weekends may be required)
PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
To be eligible to participate as a LISC AmeriCorps member the candidate must meet all eligibility requirements to serve as a National Service participant including but not limited to:
- Be eligible to earn 100% of a part-time education award
- Be eligible to perform a term of national service
- Possess a high school degree, GED certificate or agree to achieve GED during the term of service
- Be at least 17 years of age (note there is no upper age limit)
- Have unexpired proof of status as a US citizen or possess unexpired permanent resident status and be able to provide documentation as determined by CNCS
- Be available to serve for a full 10 month period of time
- Be able to complete at least 900 hours of service within the 10 months of service as well as serve the full term of the service
NATIONAL SERVICE CRIMINAL HISTORY SEARCH REQUIREMENT
If a candidate has a criminal record, it does not necessarily make a candidate ineligible for service. Only candidates who are subject to registry on the National Sex Offender Public Website or have been convicted of murder may not participate as an AmeriCorps member. Only candidates being offered and then accepting the position must consent to a search of the National Sex Offender Public Website, a State Level Criminal History Search and an FBI search. Consent is provided via the LISC AmeriCorps application.
Upon successful completion of the term of service, the member will be eligible for a $2,907.50 education award to pay off existing, eligible student loans or return to school. Members are eligible to place existing student loans (loans must qualify and not in a state of default) into AmeriCorps forbearance. The position pays a total stipend of $8,000. The stipend is taxable and paid in 20 equal checks twice a month from LISC. Direct deposit is highly encouraged.