School Garden Coordinator (several positions)

Summary

Do you love working with kids and sharing your passion for growing your own food and eating health? Apply today!

The Garden Coordinator leads curriculum-focused outdoor classes and garden-based nutrition workshops. The Garden Coordinator works with teachers as they plan their lessons utilizing the outdoor classroom and models skills that teachers need to feel comfortable using the garden to teach science, history, social studies, cultural studies, math, literacy and other standards in practical real-life applications.

HOURS:

There are several positions available which may be either Grow Some Good staff or Department of Education positions or private school positions.

  • 10-35 hours per week depending on position
  • Variable based on school hours but typically 7 hours/day between 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. up to 5 days/week + prep time
  • Location: various across island of Maui
  • RATE: $17 – $22 per hour

Responsibilities

  • Work with teachers to develop lessons that support classroom teaching in a range of curriculum areas (science, social studies, mathematics, language arts, etc.). Lead garden classes, incorporating both environmental science and nutrition education as they relate to the garden.
  • Oversee and coordinate students’ hands-on experiences in the garden (planting, tending, harvesting and cooking).
  • Lead safe and efficient maintenance of the garden, coordinate volunteers, support school outreach functions and work with PTA and PCNC (Parent Child Networking Coordinator) and Grow Some Good to secure needed supplies.
  • Collaborate with Grow Some Good on garden scheduling / maintenance, plan and prepare for garden work activities, co-manage planting schedule, ensure availability of tools and other necessary materials.
  • Establish garden time schedule with curriculum coordinators and teachers.
  • Participate in community garden events that bring students, families, teacher and community members together.
  • Maintain necessary records of garden use and volunteer activity.

Required Qualifications

  • At least 2 years of college, with work in agriculture, science, ecology, environmental science, education or related field. Relevant work experience may be substituted for college background.
  • 1+ years of facilitation or teaching experience with youth aged 5 – 14.
  • Knowledge and experience in growing a variety of edible plants in tropical climates. Knowledge of topics including urban gardening, botany, biodynamics, indigenous farming techniques; environmental science, health and nutrition, food systems, food access are a plus.
  • Able to establish positive rapport with diverse groups of students and volunteers through written and verbal communications.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with diverse populations including youth and adults.
  • Ability to organize work plans and work independently.
  • In good physical condition with willingness to participate in occasional physical labor in garden setting. Much of day is spent on your feet in outdoor setting. Must be able to lift and carry 25 lbs.
  • Should have access to transportation for occasional supplies procurement and delivery and be able to show proof of insurance for vehicle used.
  • May be required to meet Department of Education minimum qualifications for employment and/or complete background check.
  • Must be able to access a personal computer and have a cell phone.

About Grow Some Good

Grow Some Good cultivates a healthy community by strengthening local agriculture and improving access to nutritious, affordable food. Grow Some Good is a nonprofit community program that currently supports schools in grades K-12 across Maui.

As a non-profit, positions are dependent on organization getting grant funding and donations. Positions are typically for the school year and breaks are not paid for unless there are special projects.

To apply, send cover letter and resume to apply at growsomegood dot org with Garden Coordinator Position in the subject line.

MFSN Program Manager – Closed

This job posting is now closed as of Aug 26, 2019. There are still openings for Garden Coordinators.

Job Description

This is a new position reporting to the Executive Director which is responsible for management of Maui Farm to School Network (MFSN) program. This job is critical to the success of our merger with Maui School Garden Network where many of the duties were previously performed pro-bono. 

Grow Some Good works with over 40 K-12 schools on Maui and Lana‘i to cultivate an understanding of how to grow, harvest, and prepare nutritious food in sustainable school gardens with emphasis on promoting healthy eating habits and  promoting agriculture careers while integrating agriculture related learning and including Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) education and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into the curriculum.  

Job Duties

Program Management

Ensure ongoing programmatic excellence, program evaluation, communications, and working systems; recommend timelines and resources to achieve Grow Some Good’s strategic goals. 

Develop and lead the team of Garden Coordinators / Educators who work at various schools across Maui and Lana‘i.  Hire and manage Garden Coordinators and Garden Educator staff including working with schools to hire Part-time Teachers (PTT) as well as our own part and full-time staff. Assign coordinators to schools. Give feedback and mentoring support as needed to garden coordinators. Facilitate roundtable meetings with coordinators quarterly. 

Be the primary contact with school administration to establish garden sustainability plans, garden goals and assist with staffing and training of garden personnel.  

Manage and approve expenses for school garden programs including staff and resources.  Connect with community to engage volunteers and get donations.  

Maintain statistics and metrics on approximately 40 K-12 schools on Maui and Lana‘i with updates on a semester basis (hours of garden classroom education, number of students, produce harvested).  Run annual survey of principals and teachers to get feedback on program value, staff performance and opportunities for improvement. 

Prepare monthly program report and attend the Board of Directors meeting to keep board members informed of the program activities. 

Training and Retention 

Work with schools to provide qualified staff to support school programs.  This may include posting positions, interviewing and hiring, and working with school’s class scheduling staff. Not all people selected  will work directly for Grow Some Good and may report to the school. Review performance of staff annually and mentor qualified staff in career opportunities. 

Establish, plan and implement required training programs for Garden Coordinators and Garden Educator staff.   Training includes but is not limited to the following: 

  • Detailed Curriculum Training
  • Food Safety Training 
  • Safe Garden Management practices including tools use and storage, safe harvest practices, Integrated Pest Management, soil testing, companion plant management. 
  • Class management techniques
  • Garden maintenance strategies and long-term plans  for school gardens (crop rotation, weeding, pest control, tools, water supply, pathways, etc.). 

Garden Network

Communicate with school garden leads, and school administration to highlight successes, initiatives, training and resources available to schools.  Participate as Maui Island Coordinator of the Hawai’i State Farm to School Hui  and relevant working groups. This includes travel to other islands quarterly. Engage in legislative action that supports the interaction of the DOA, DOE, and DOH in establishing sustainability goals for the state in areas of independence including food supply, clean water, renewable energy, and supportive infrastructure. 

Network activities includes: 

  • Identify resources to solve garden challenges (irrigation, build garden structures, organize community volunteers, mulch and soil). Maintain a current list of specialists in the areas of irrigation systems, composting systems, native plant starts and garden design.
  • Maintain list of grant opportunities for all schools (public, independent, and charter) in the areas of garden learning and nutrition.
  • Maintain the Farm to School Field trip Manual 
  • Share training and conference opportunities
  • Share Hawai‘i Farm-to-School Hui resources and materials. Share Farm-to-School initiatives that may impact school and garden programs. 
  • Guide schools in developing their own lists of potential volunteers for fundraising, gardening class support, mala work days, and harvest festivals through the school PCNC, PTA, and other relevant internal school support organizations.
  • Connect with principals, food service managers, teacher leads and PTA’s to engage and support the school garden programs at the schools. 

Development Support

The Program Manager must work with Grow Some Good’s Development Director and Executive Director to define programs, estimate projects and define potential grant projects and fundraising opportunities.  The program manager is responsible for assisting in writing grant reports and maintaining budget information for their programs.  

Community Outreach and Partnership Development

Prepare stories for social media, website, and e-newsletter and encourage staff to do the same.

Work with community leaders and partners to connect organization to the community. 

Establish and build relationships with farming, agriculture and natural resources training programs, invasive species education, Master Gardener training, health and nutrition education training, conservation training, watershed education, native plants education, seed saving education, composting education, and aquaponics education to provide available resources to garden coordinators and schools. Maintain and cultivate relationships with food pantry partners, farmers and food producers, and organizational partners to ensure quality programming that meets community needs. 

Minimum Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s or advanced degree, with at least 2 years related work experience  
  • Must have good project management skills as well as ability to write reports. 
  • Ability to establish rapport and develop strong relationships with a diverse group of people, including youth, teachers, school administrators, community leaders, and managers from nonprofit organizations and local institutions.
  • Ability to work independently, set priorities and meet deadlines in an unpredictable environment.  Able to weigh multiple factors to act quickly, decisively and diplomatically. 
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable vehicle 
  • Willing to travel to remote areas of Maui, Lana‘i and other Hawaiian Islands
  • Ability to work weekends and evenings when needed
  • Must be computer savvy with knowledge of tools such as Google (Doc/Sheets/Drive) and/or Microsoft Word/Excel. 
  • Must be comfortable with public speaking (events, training, radio and TV interviews) 

Desired Qualifications 

  • Excited about the work of Growing Gardens!  And growing keiki.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in education, agriculture, environmental science or comparative years of experience.
  • Proven record of managing team of 10+ workers. 
  • Willingness to transport materials to schools.  (Truck and/or willingness to use rentals) 
  • Experience working with schools and after-school programs.
  • Organic gardening experience.
  • Knowledge of use of garden equipment and tool safety. 
  • Familiarity with Hawaii local food systems and food safety.
  • Commitment to healthy eating and garden and nutrition education. 
  • Well connected with the culture of the Hawaiian Islands. 
  • Ability to communicate to both adults and students. 

Work Environment

  • Includes substantial office-based work and connecting w/community; position is about 50% or more office work. We do not have an office so home office or comparable option is required.
  • Must have ability to lift/carry 40+ lbs. 
  • Must have ability to stand, stoop, reach and bend.  Must have dexterity to grasp large and small objects. 
  • Must have ability to stand for long periods and walk distances over uneven surfaces.

Benefits:

This position is a full-time salaried position with medical benefits available. Salary range is $40,000 to $50,000 based on experience and skills. Mileage reimbursement. Paid time off.

2019 School Garden Survey

Each year, we do a School Garden Survey of teachers and principals to check in with our schools and determine if we are meeting their needs, and how we can do better. The results shown are from 149 teachers and administrators at 11 Maui County DOE schools.

Differences in the Program This Year

Grow Some Good introduced new curriculum this year with approximately 16 lessons per grade level that are mapped to Next Generation Science Standards. It was designed to be used as appropriate, not necessarily in order, and it provided a great framework for garden coordinators to use to align garden lessons with classroom learning.

Key Findings from the 2019 School Garden Survey

This annual School Garden Survey report shows that we had some gains in many areas, and there are still pockets where teachers and schools want more from Grow Some Good and our partner, Maui School Garden Network.

With regard to attributes that teachers observed among students, 88% of teachers reported seeing an increased interest in eating fruits and vegetables; up from 84% last year; 58% of teachers reported seeing an improved attitude towards school; up from 53% last year.

With regard to garden benefits in academics, we continue to excel in the areas of science, and health and nutrition, with 98% of teachers saying the garden benefits students in these areas.  79% of teachers said the garden benefits lessons in math, up from 56% last year; 87% of teachers said the garden benefits lessons in English/language arts, up from 69% last year; and 85% of teachers said the garden benefits lessons in Hawaiian Studies, up from 61% last year

Following is a report on the percentage of teachers who indicated on the School Garden Survey that they saw a benefit or change in students in the described areas.

Attributes Observed of School Garden Participants

87% Increased environmental attitude/attitudes
49% Increased community spirit and interest in volunteerism
52% Improved social skills/behaviors
88% Increased interest in eating fruits and vegetables
29% Improved motor skills
31% Academic gains
58% Improved attitude towards school

Comments about observed attributes:

  • The garden has been a great space to encourage mindfulness. It provides a silent spot for students to sit and observe the garden, and has been a huge benefit for students who need to learn how to self-regulate.
  • Their ability to work cooperatively has improved as well as more awareness of things/people around them. They are less egocentric after working in the garden.
  • Students work together to solve problems. I think they make more connections between nature and their academics.
  • Increased interest in agricultural careers.
  • Students are smiling and engaging with each other in a more positive, different way.

Student Behavior Benefits:

94%Students are learning new gardening skills
61%Students are more focused in classroom activities after being
in the garden
35%Students/parents are starting home gardens as result of school
garden program
39%Students have better attendance on garden class days
73%Students have improved attitudes with respect for others, and
demonstrate caring and nurturing behaviors

Comments about observed benefits:

  • Garden class gets my students outside with a purpose. Also, many live in condos so they may not have experience with growing food or caring for nature.  The garden coordinator and the outdoor classroom were exciting and the students learned about life cycles. Later in the year we were able to gather, care for and observe the life cycle of 11 butterflies! The kids were so excited. The garden coordinator got the students, even my picky eaters, to try new foods!
  • Students are learning to try new things as well as gaining a respect for nature and how things are grown.
  • Students LOVE garden class; learning how to be gardeners and appreciate nature more!
  • I have noticed that students know more about plants, gardening, etc when reading stories about such topics.
  • They have more respect for where their food comes from and a better understanding of Hawaiian culture in relation to specific foods in Hawaii.
  • Students are introduced to healthy foods they have never had before.
  • I love having the garden not only because of the beauty it brings to our campus, but the learning is tremendous!
  • Students make a connection that outdoors in the garden is another learning environment… not just inside the classroom.
  • Kids enjoy the hands-on aspect and they learn how to synergize with each other.
  • Students discover that trying new things (even when muddy or ‘yucky’ or buggy) isn’t as scary as they originally thought. Now students are more interested in giving things a try whereas before – they were very hesitant.
  • They (students) are kinder to bugs, because they know they help the plants.

Core Curriculum Benefits

  Topic Extremely
Beneficial
Beneficial Somewhat
Beneficial
Total
Benefit
Math 15% 35% 29% 79%
Science 60% 31% 7% 98%
English/
Language Arts
19% 37% 31% 87%
Hawaiian Studies 37% 31% 17% 85%
History/Social Studies 23% 35% 23% 81%
Health and Nutrition 69% 27% 3% 98%

Comments about Core Curriculum

  • Target a couple science standards for each grade level.
  • Perhaps assign some take home papers or readings to extend the learning and work on addressing ELA CCSS.
  • Students would enjoy having more tasting sessions.
  • Gardening can be related to nearly all core curriculum classes in varied presentation aspects.
  • Encourage more core teachers to get involved.
  • The collaboration and communication time with certain grade levels will help with the execution of lessons and garden integration with the curriculum and place/project-based learning.
  • Implement more math and reading or writing into the garden.
  • Having time for the students to visit the garden to do other content area skills. Writing stories and connecting math to the garden.
  • Keep building lessons that support NGSS.

Non-Core Subjects

To the best of your knowledge and observation, which of the following non-core subjects are taught in the garden?

  • 93% Health and Nutrition
  • 86% Environmental Studies
  • 77% General Learner Outcomes (GLO)
  • 71% Agricultural Studies
  • 61% Home Ec/Cooking
  • 55% Service Learning / Community Service
  • 52% Art
  • 20% Physical Education
  • 12% Special Education

General Comments to the School Garden Survey

  • We are very happy with GSG & MSGN in our school. Thank you very much.
  • I’m not sure (how to improve), this program is fantastic! Keep up the great work!
  • I’ve only been once (to the garden) and from that one time, I’ve realized how beneficial it is for the students. I would like to design lessons around it to connect it with my content.
  • Every time a student goes to garden, they bring veggies or cooked food back. They really enjoy eating and sharing the food with their teachers (even their core teachers).
  • Our teachers’ involvement with the garden and value for the ‘aina has greatly increased in the last few years. Our teachers are starting their own beds with their students and prioritizing project and placed based learning through doing in the garden.
  • My students are all eager to participate in garden. We go at the end of the day, and my students perk right up. They are engaged in the content and ready to dive into the dirt, even the ones who said they don’t like getting dirty!
  • We need to have our garden coordinator continue his/her work in the garden and deliver the relevant and important lessons to our students.
  • Our garden time is the highlight of our week.

Improvement Suggestions

  • It would be nice if students could go out to the garden more often.
  • Could we allot more time per class? Or could we include discussion/lesson time in the classroom, so they are more prepared for the hands-on experience?
  • Create a small activity book (on recycled paper). 
  • Provide a regular lawn maintenance person
  • Provide extension activities to classroom teachers.
  • We are very happy with GSG & MSGN in our school. Thank you very much.
  • Introduce local produce. Helping to minimize food waste from the cafeteria is a concern for me. Students often don’t eat much of what is served.
  • Help us to build more gardens at our school :).
  • Provide PD for how teachers can utilize the garden outside of their dedicated garden class time.