Fellowship Opportunity - The Mission Continues
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Founded in 2006, Edible Schoolyard New Orleans is a signature program of FirstLine Schools, a network of public, open-enrollment charter schools in New Orleans. At four K-8 FirstLine Schools, ESYNOLA kitchen and garden classes integrate hands-on gardening and cooking into the school curriculum and culture. Our classes involve students in growing, harvesting, preparing and enjoying food together as a means of awakening their senses, connecting with academic content, cultivating a sense of wonder about nature, and developing a love of fresh, seasonal foods. ESYNOLA hosts special events celebrating local food, chefs, growers, and natural spaces. We work to ensure school meals are delicious and nutritious, and that our children are excited about eating. We strive to create vibrant school communities where students are engaged in experiential learning, enjoy healthy meals and snacks, and are surrounded by an environment that stimulates their curiosity and desire to learn.

Garden Education Fellow

Fellowship Class

Delta Class 2017

Volunteer Opportunity and Responsibilities

The Garden Education Fellows will assist with teaching K-8 grade garden classes and maintaining the garden as an integral part of the garden education team at a school site. Teaching will include working in the school garden and supporting small group garden activities.

- Support a small group during garden classes, delivering content that is academic, sensory, healthful, and experiential in nature
- Develop teaching and classroom management skills
- Guide students to make connections between the garden and the kitchen, understand local, seasonal, and sustainable culinary practices, and make healthful food choices at home and at school
- Prepare for lessons; includes reading and reflecting on lesson plans provided by the garden educator
- Assist in the preparation and cleanup of classes

- Work with garden team to maintain garden through daily and weekly tasks
- Remain engaged, knowledgeable, and “up to date” about the garden as it transitions through seasonal changes
- Assist in garden maintenance, including propagation, soil fertility, composting, crop rotation, fertilizing, pruning, irrigation and pest and disease management
- Harvest produce from the schoolyard garden for the Harvest Table
- Act as informal “ambassador” to the garden for visitors, volunteers, and school staff; includes answering questions, and occasionally assisting with volunteer groups

- Attend regular garden team meetings to review, prepare for, reflect, and contribute to garden class and special event planning when possible
- Participate in ESYNOLA professional development sessions when possible
- Participate in collaborative goal setting process with lead garden educator to create individual benchmarks

Required Skills or Qualifications

- pass an online background check
- attend onboarding trainings on ESYNOLA's mission, values, safety, instructions to garden education delivery, and how ESYNOLA's program functions within the school day and year

Ability to:
- work with frequent interruption and to supervise a variety of tasks simultaneously
- communicate and collaborate with a wide variety of people
- problem solve complex issues
- lift, push and/or pull objects, weighing up to approximately 30 pounds
- stand for long periods of time, mobility of arms to reach, dexterity of hands to grasp and manipulate large and small objects
- find joy in all of the things listed above

- achievement-oriented, with a focus on goals and results
- initiative and drive for continuous improvement
- excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- proficient with information technology
- strong enthusiasm for experiential, sensory, and food education (required)

Willing to:
- work occasional weekends/evenings for special events when needed
- smell, taste, and touch garden produce
- manage and speak in front of groups of children

Preferred Academic and Experience Qualifications
- Experience cooking or gardening with elementary/middle school-aged students
- Experience working with children
- Demonstrated interest in education, nutrition, food studies, environmental science or related field

Community Impact

ESYNOLA has a deep impact on the FirstLine Schools community in New Orleans. With 4,000 daytime and afterschool garden and culinary classes and 70 special farm-to-school community events, ESYNOLA garden and culinary educators work diligently to collaborate on exciting, joyful experiences for children and families. The Mission Continues garden education fellow will join the ESYNOLA team in teaching students to grow, harvest, and share fresh foods together in beautiful environments such as school gardens, community kitchens, and aesthetically-pleasing cafeterias. Fellows will see the impact they make in children’s lives daily, as they witness children making academic connections, new healthy choices, and inspiring discoveries in garden class.

By supporting small group activities in garden classes, the garden education fellow will increase their team’s ability to teach high-quality lessons connected to core academic content, maintain productive school gardens, host events for the school community, build deeper relationships with parents and students, and engage the greater community in garden spaces. As the capacity of our program increases, we are able to further accomplish our program goals, such as improved food and nutrition knowledge, attitudes and behaviors, and increased consumption of fresh nutritious foods by our students and their families.

Additionally, the Mission Continues Fellows will expose FirstLine students to different professions, life experiences, and skillsets through the engagement with them in garden class as well as other school events and support activities. As mentors, fellows can build unique relationships with students and families, fostering lasting mentorship opportunities and exposing students to the service-oriented mindset that is so strong in The Mission Continues community.


Amelia Bird
(504) 884-0219

Kerrie Partridge
(504) 512-5599

Interested in this Position?

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