At The Kitchen Community (TKC), collaboration and community are fundamental to our success. We impact and strengthen communities through food by joining local efforts to accelerate the real food movement. Since 2011, TKC has built more than 378 Learning Garden in six markets throughout the US and the organization is continuing to grow nationally! Our Learning Gardens are attractive spaces that provide students and teachers with a dynamic outdoor classroom, and a place to grow through experiential play. The gardens serve as a vehicle for school communities to access real food – fresh fruits and vegetables – as well as daily exposure to the production of real food. The Learning Gardens give teachers, students and their families the experience of growing healthy, delicious produce themselves. Learn more at www.thekitchencommunity.org
The Los Angeles Garden Educator’s primary responsibility is to work with TKC’s Program Team to support school Garden Teams to ensure they have the skills, materials, personnel and confidence to successfully grow vegetables and teach in their Learning Gardens. This will include leading planting days at schools with teachers and students, running teacher professional development workshops, leading Garden Team meetings, maintaining school administrator support, and supporting relationships between the schools and their communities.
The Los Angeles Garden Educator will serve as the main point of contact for all schools with Learning Gardens, and can expect to work closely with up to 35 gardens at a time while continually building strong relationships with all schools with Learning Gardens in the region.
The Los Angeles Garden Educator reports to the Regional Program Manager. Additionally, the Los Angeles Garden Educator supports the ongoing development, implementation, and evaluation of the Learning Gardens they are working with. This work will require a flexible, team oriented, detail oriented, highly organized and self-motivated individual. Applicants with strong communication skills to inspire Learning Garden communities and those capable of working closely and collaboratively with a small team in a fast-paced environment are encouraged to apply.
- Work with Regional Program Team to achieve defined seasonal goals, and prioritize efforts to promote organizational outcomes and desired social impact in all Learning Gardens.
- Coordinate and lead site-specific events for diverse populations of teachers, parents, community member and students at schools with Learning Gardens. These events include:
- Kick-Off Days at schools with new Learning Gardens
- Planting Days at schools with existing Learning --Gardens
- Professional development teacher workshops covering garden maintenance, garden-based curriculum, harvesting techniques, and recipe ideas.
- Meetings with Principals and Garden Teams leading up to Learning Garden events.
- Specific school events in which TKC Garden Educators are invited to table or lead activities and workshops.
- Develop and maintain relationships with community partners, teachers, administrators, parents, and other members of the school community.
- Identify monthly garden needs, resources and action items, and communicate with schools through in-person meetings, email, phone calls and workshops.
- Assist schools in developing garden plans and resolving specific gardening issues.
- Assist in sourcing and purchasing seeds, seedlings and gardening supplies for all regional Learning Gardens in collaboration with the Regional Program Manager and National Garden Manager.
- Educate schools on gardening, maintenance and harvesting techniques using TKC- standardized training materials and supplemental teaching materials (as needed).
- Review and share garden-related resources with schools (both print and web based).
- Provide direct in-person and remote support to schools - candidate must be willing to travel to various schools throughout Los Angeles County on a regular basis.
- Work with Regional Program Team to facilitate seasonal workshops for all schools with Learning Gardens.
- Attend or participate in school garden partner and network meetings and events as needed.
- Represent TKC through tabling, presentations, and facilitating activities at community events.
- Minimum Bachelor degree in related field and 1 year applicable experience OR at least 4 years of applicable experience/equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Bilingual in Spanish & English.
- Excellent communication and planning/organizational skills.
- Ability to travel to school sites throughout LA and have space available to work remotely.
- Demonstrated ability to work with diverse populations including youth and adults.
- Extensive knowledge and skills in small-scale organic food production, horticulture, or home gardening.
- Knowledge and skills in relevant areas including school gardens, urban gardening, botany, environmental science, health and nutrition, environment and social justice, food systems, and food access.
- Experience working within the diverse communities of Los Angeles; must be knowledgeable of the area.
- Ability to multi-task and coordinate several major activities.
- Teaching experience and/ or experience working with children or adults in an educational setting.
- Experience instructing and guiding garden demonstrations with children and/or adults.
- Strong oral and written communication skills, including public speaking skills.
- Proficient computer skills, including Microsoft Office Programs, email communication, knowledge or interest in data management and databases.
- Experience in the community development field.
- Deep commitment to teamwork.
- Project coordination and management skills.
- Master Gardener Certificate, or other extensive gardening certification and experience.
- Required access to a vehicle with light hauling capacity (e.g. seeds, seedlings, and other gardening materials).
- Occasionally lift and carries objects up to 50 pounds.
- Occasionally stoop and bend.
- Occasionally reaches and grasps with arms and hands. Work involves exposure to outdoors including warm and cold weather.