Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.

We’d love to have you share your interest in working at Life Lab. Share your contact and we will let you know when positions open up.

 

Current Openings with Life Lab

Life Lab Educator in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District 

Life Lab Educator and Nutrition Services Member in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District

 

Life Lab Educator in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District 

Rolling Applications Accepted, Interviews start May 2020. Please apply through the Climate Corps Fellowship, AmeriCorps portal. 

 

Life Lab seeks an energetic, skilled and dedicated educator who has a passion for engaging elementary-age children, and a devotion to teaching experiential Garden Science and Classroom Cooking. The ideal candidate will help shape Life Lab’s programs for sustainability and future growth.

 

Position Title: Life Lab Educator in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District  – Offered through Climate Corps Fellowship, AmeriCorps

Term of Service: Full-time, September 1, 2020– July 15, 2021

Time Requirements: ~35-40 hours/week; 1,700 hours in 10.5 month span

The work schedule is aligned with the bell schedule of each school. Typical hours are Monday-Friday 8am-4pm and will include occasional weekend events, when possible.

 

Responsibilities:

  • Lead K-2nd Garden Science classes (Fall + Spring) and 3rd-5th Classroom Cooking classes (Winter). About 15 classes per week. 
  • Maintain 2 physical Garden Classroom spaces. ~15 hours per week total.
  • Continue Relationship Building within your School Communities including hosting community outreach booths  at school-wide events to promote your school garden programs and host 2 garden community workdays.
  • Attend weekly individual check-ins with your Program Manager, weekly Life Lab Educator meetings, a monthly Life Lab Staff meeting, and Life Lab workshops (fees waived). 

 

AmeriCorps Fellows Must:

  • Have ability to work in the US
  • Have a high school diploma/GED
  • Be 17 years old or older
  • Pass state criminal and FBI background checks, and a national check in the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry
  • Test negatively for tuberculosis
  • Be able and willing to commit to the 10.5-month service term
  • Transportation Required for getting to and from multiple school sites and moving supplies such as produce for cooking classes and plant starts for garden maintenance. 

 

Desired Qualifications/Characteristics Include:

  • A passion for Life Lab’s mission to cultivate children’s love of learning, healthy food and nature through garden-based education.  
  • A deep commitment to social justice, cross-cultural relevancy, equity and inclusion.
  • Experience teaching and working with elementary-age students in public school settings. 
  • Competency in Spanish.
  • Clear and prompt communication.
  • Experience prioritizing and managing projects. 
  • Flexibility and a team player mentality.
  • Experience with community outreach.
  • Willingness to learn and practice Positive Discipline 

 

Benefits of Service

  • Receive a living allowance stipend of $2,115 per month
  • Upon the successful completion of your 1,700 hours and term of service, receive a Segal Education Award of $6,195 
  • Assistance with student loan forbearance 
  • Health care coverage 
  • Receive ongoing training & support, including a 4-day orientation, monthly training, a 2-day retreat, and a personal development plan
  • Benefit from the robust, ever-growing Climate Corps network of partner organizations and alumni
  • Develop sustainability skills, implement impactful climate change resiliency projects, and build partnerships in your community

 

 

 

Life Lab Educator and Nutrition Services Member in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District

Rolling Applications Accepted, Interviews start May 2020. Please apply through the Climate Corps Fellowship, AmeriCorps portal. 

 

Life Lab seeks an energetic, skilled and dedicated educator who has a passion for engaging elementary-age children, and a devotion to teaching experiential Garden Science and Classroom Cooking and supporting district Food and Nutrition Services staff in farm to school efforts. The ideal candidate will help shape Life Lab and Nutrition Services programs for sustainability and future growth.

 

Position Title: Life Lab Educator and Food and Nutrition Services Service Member in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District  – Offered through Climate Corps Fellowship, AmeriCorps

Term of Service: Full-time, September 1, 2020– July 15, 2021

Time Requirements: ~35-40 hours/week; 1,700 hours in 10.5 month span

The work schedule is aligned with the bell schedule of each school. Typical hours are Monday-Friday 8am-4pm and will include occasional weekend events, when possible.

 

Responsibilities:

  • Lead K-2nd Garden Science classes (Fall + Spring) and 3rd-5th Classroom Cooking classes (Winter). About 15 classes per week. 
  • Support the Food and Nutrition Services department: 
    • Install and promote salad bars in School Cafeterias 
    • Harvest of the Month programming: 
    • Connect with local farms, farmers, and other community partners: Such as Go For Health, Pajaro Valley Health Trust, and the City Council of Watsonville
    • Design promotional materials for Harvest of the Month featured produce
    • Encourage fruit and veggie consumption in the cafeteria by hosting taste tests 
    • Supporting Nation-wide events like School Breakfast and Lunch Week’s
    • Promote Green efforts in Cafeterias such as: waste studies, composting, plastics reduction, bulk dispensers
    • Manage social media pages: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
    • Attend monthly meeting with community groups, district health and wellness team
  • Maintain 1 physical Garden Classroom space. ~8 hours per week total.
  • Continue Relationship Building within your School Communities including hosting community outreach booths  at school-wide events to promote your school garden programs and host 2 garden community workdays.
  • Promote and educate our community about the PVUSD meal program at community events (at least once per month)
  • Attend weekly individual check-ins with your Program Manager Nutrition Services Supervisor, weekly Life Lab Educator team meetings, bimonthly Nutrition Services Staff meetings, a monthly Life Lab Staff meeting, and Life Lab workshops (fees waived).  
  • Opportunities to attend farm to school events and workshops throughout California 

 

AmeriCorps Fellows Must:

  • Have ability to work in the US
  • Have a high school diploma/GED
  • Be 17 years old or older
  • Pass state criminal and FBI background checks, and a national check in the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry
  • Test negatively for tuberculosis
  • Be able and willing to commit to the 10.5-month service term
  • Transportation Required for getting to and from multiple school sites and moving supplies such as produce for cooking classes and plant starts for garden maintenance. 

 

Desired Qualifications/Characteristics Include:

  • A passion for Life Lab’s mission to cultivate children’s love of learning, healthy food and nature through garden-based education.  
  • A deep commitment to social justice, cross-cultural relevancy, equity and inclusion.
  • Experience teaching and working with elementary-age students in public school settings. 
  • Competency in Spanish.
  • Clear and prompt communication.
  • Experience prioritizing and managing projects in and out of an office setting. 
  • Flexibility and a team player mentality.
  • Reliability and open-mindedness.   
  • Experience with community outreach to enhance and promote strategic connections.
  • Willingness to learn and practice Positive Discipline 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft and Google Suites
  • Experience creating and managing informative and educational social media accounts.

 

Benefits of Service

  • Receive a living allowance stipend of $2,115 per month
  • Upon the successful completion of your 1,700 hours and term of service, receive a Segal Education Award of $6,195 
  • Assistance with student loan forbearance 
  • Health care coverage 
  • Receive ongoing training & support, including a 4-day orientation, monthly training, a 2-day retreat, and a personal development plan
  • Benefit from the robust, ever-growing Climate Corps network of partner organizations and alumni
  • Develop sustainability skills, implement impactful climate change resiliency projects, and build partnerships in your community

 

 

About AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps is a national service commitment that meets a community’s critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. Climate Corps AmeriCorps partners with local government, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations across California to provide full-time service opportunities in the Bay Area supporting communities’ critical needs in building climate resilience. Climate Corps AmeriCorps fellows dedicate 1,700 hours of service in exchange for leadership and career development, and a living stipend supported by our AmeriCorps grant. Climate Corps AmeriCorps is an exciting opportunity for service-minded individuals who are passionate about building climate resilience for communities. For more information, please visit www.americorps.gov.

 

About Life Lab

Life Lab is a dynamic and growing nonprofit organization located on the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Farm.  Life Lab cultivates children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based programs

 

Founded in 1979, Life Lab is a pioneer and national leader in garden-based learning, providing programs, training, and curriculum to inspire children and educators locally and nationally. We serve more than 5,000 children each year through programs at partner elementary schools across Santa Cruz County and through field trips and day camps in our Garden Classroom in Santa Cruz and our Blooming Classroom in Watsonville. Through professional development workshops, curriculum sales, and a dynamic knowledge network, Life Lab also positively impacts the lives of more than 500,000 children across the U.S. annually.

 

Core Values

Life Lab values collaboration, authentic communication, connection with people and nature, and open-inquiring minds. We also value individual initiative and cultivate a culture in which it can thrive. At Life Lab, we know that having a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives on our team improves our decision-making and programs. In addition, we recognize that staff members whose identities and lived experiences are relevant to those of the students we serve help us have the greatest impact. Therefore, we strongly encourage applicants who have experience working with Latinx populations from agricultural communities to apply.

 

About Life Lab Partner Schools Program

Life Lab’s Partner School Program strives to create a culture of garden-based learning in elementary schools to enhance science and nutrition education during school day instruction. We recruit, train, and support Life Lab Educators who co-teach with classroom teachers at our partner schools every other week at 7 elementary schools. We host Next Generation Science Standard garden classes for all TK-2nd graders and Kids Cook Nutrition Education and hands-on cooking classes for 3rd-5th graders. We offer free teacher workshops at our Garden Classroom site, facilitate school garden workdays, plant donations, and provide technical support. Our teachers support our programs and agree that our NGSS in the Garden Program improves students’ scientific knowledge, enthusiasm for learning, school pride, and connection to nature. In our Kids Cook Program, 60% of students try a new fruit or vegetable each class, and 71% of our students like or love our produce-heavy recipes. 

 

About the Site Locations

Most of the Life Lab Educator’s work time will be spent at two of the following 7 school sites within the Pajaro Valley Unified School District with the following PVUSD Student Demographics represented. Some of our garden sites are co-managed with Fitness 4 Life after-school staff. 

 

Hall District Elementary‘s school garden is an expansive, mainly flat garden with twenty garden beds, a fruit tree orchard, and several learning circles. It is a 5-minute walk from the parking lot and main office. ~10 hours a week to maintain.

Starlight Elementary’s school garden is a small L-shaped garden wedged between classrooms with 4 garden beds and 10 fruit trees. It is a 5-minute walk from the parking lot. This garden has small pathways.. ~5 hours a week to maintain.

Ohlone Elementary’s garden is a large garden which includes two learning circles, 10+ garden beds, and 10 fruit trees in a sloped area located past a narrow pathway. ~8-10 hours of maintenance per week. 

H.A. Hyde Elementary’s garden is an open space with a learning circle, fruit trees creating a perimeter, with crops directly sown into the ground. ~5 hours per week. 

MacQuiddy Elementary’s garden is a large garden with 6 beds for produce, ~20 fruit trees, and 2 learning circles. ~8-10 hours per week of maintenance. 

Ann Soldo Elementary’s garden has 14 beds, perennial borders and a large teaching area. 3 min walk from main office. Uneven ground. ~ 6 hours per week maintenance.

Amesti Elementary’s garden has 10 beds, perennial borders, a large teaching area, and a greenhouse. 5 min walk from main office and parking. Uneven ground. ~8 hours per week maintenance. 

The Life Lab office is located in an office trailer on the UC Santa Cruz farm, a 5-10 minute walk on a dirt path from the nearest parking lot. Closer parking is available for anyone with a disabled parking placard, and Life Lab makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with known physical or mental disabilities. We also have a field trip site in West Watsonville, check out the kids thoughts on our field trip program here: Pajaro Valley Life Lab Field Trip Site Video.

 


Other good places to search and post garden-based learning jobs

    • The Ecological Farming Association hosts a sustainable agriculture job list. Join their job e-list at www.eco-farm.org/

 

 

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Life Lab 40th
Life Lab’s 40th Gala – Sunday, October 13th  Celebrate 40 years of bringing learning to life in gardens. Learn more  
Life Lab's 40th Gala
Life Lab provides truly inspiring training. Their breadth of experience, joy for teaching, and commitment to sharing knowledge highlight the best practices in food and garden education.
Erica CurryTraining and Professional Development ManagerFoodCorps
Thank you for such a wonderful field trip experience! Your leaders did such a great job at keeping our kids engaged.
Sheila BrickenKindergarten TeacherSan Lorenzo Valley Elementary
Terry had another awesome two weeks at Life Lab. I think he learns more there than in any other part of his year. School is great, but he’s passionate (and often dogmatic) about what he learns there.
Tara NeierCamp ParentSummer camp mom
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