AmeriCorps Food Educator Position - Common Threads

LOCATION: Bellingham, WA (USA)

CLOSING DATE: May 15, 2021


JOB #: 17188

POSTED: April 9, 2021


Common Threads connects kids to healthy food in the garden, in the kitchen, and at the table. We want kids to grow up making food choices that are good for their bodies, their communities, and the environment. Founded in 2007 and based in Bellingham, Washington, Common Threads is a grassroots, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes a “seed to table” approach to food production, good nutrition, and environmental stewardship. Historically, most of our programs have taken place on public school grounds, during the school day. Common Threads also runs after-school gardening and cooking programs at schools and affordable housing complexes, and spring/summer camps at an urban farm site. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our focus has
shifted toward food production and distribution to hungry kids and families as well as fostering community connection with on-line educational content. We are committed to balancing community service with COVID-19 safety for our team and the communities we serve.

At Common Threads, we are actively committed to social equity and justice and strongly encourage candidates of all racial and gender identities, cultural and economic backgrounds, and of any sexual orientation to apply for employment and service opportunities. Common Threads is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, or marital status in employment or the provision of services.

Responsibilities (subject to change particularly as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic)
Each AmeriCorps Food Educator will serve as the lead educator at one or more of Common Threads’ partner school sites, leading school-based garden lessons during spring and fall and cooking lessons during winter. Each service member may also collaborate with the full team (staff and Food Educator teammates) to:
● Lead or support after school gardening and/or cooking clubs (school-based and affordable housing complexes)
● Lead camp-style programs during spring and summer breaks
● Support emergency food production and distribution efforts
● Recruit and manage volunteers to help maintain/improve school garden(s) and support lessons at
assigned school(s)
● Manage administrative tasks, including email communications, data & story collection, and project prep time
● Develop and/or facilitate live or recorded virtual content related to gardening and cooking
● Support school district food service programs, including but not limited to meal production, packing, distribution, and lunch support
● Support other relevant food education and food resiliency opportunities as they arise
● Develop and use an equity lens during all aspects of service
● Complete a minimum of 1700 hours of service (full time, 35+ hours per week) between August 23, 2021-August 12, 2022

*Depending on the stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, service opportunities will be a combination of virtual remote and in-person service that is likely outdoors, socially distanced, and masked. Service members will participate regularly in low-risk and infrequently in moderate risk activities. Common Threads cannot guarantee zero risk of COVID-19.

Special Roles
Though all of our AmeriCorps service members will be selected as Food Educators, you can additionally apply and be selected for the following specialized roles:

Farm Team selected based largely on agricultural skills and experience in growing food. Responsibilities may include:
● Support Food Educators in managing assigned school and community garden(s)
● Develop and lead trainings for Food Educators on a variety of farming and gardening topics
● Assist Food Educators in developing crop plans for school gardens and greenhouses
● Manage greenhouse propagation in collaboration with the Food Education team (staff and AmeriCorps members)

Communications Team will be selected based largely on interest and previous experience with one or more of the following: social media, photography or videography, graphic design, and writing in a nonprofit/business environment. Responsibilities may include:
● Capturing and telling stories of impact
● Collaboratively creating content including photos, videos, blog posts, and print material
● Scheduling and posting regularly to Facebook and Instagram
● Supporting other projects depending on interest. Past examples have included grant application
support, website improvement, community outreach.

Curriculum Team will be selected based largely on interest and past experience in writing curriculum and teaching children. Responsibilities may include:
● Training Food Educators in leading garden and cooking lessons
● Leading lesson debriefs
● Improving curriculum based on Food Educator and teacher reflections and needs
● Writing new garden and cooking curriculum as needed
Volunteer Coordinator(s) will be selected based largely on previous volunteer management experience.

Responsibilities may include:
● Train and support food educators in the recruitment, supervision, and appreciation of volunteers
● Manage the application and background check process in collaboration with school district volunteer coordinators
● Coordinate and assign volunteers to different school sites and work parties
● Update volunteer database and track volunteer hours

Compensation and Benefits
● Stipends for the 2021-2022 service year are still being established as of this posting, but will not be less than $17,000 before tax for full-time position (1700 hours). We continue to work with funders to increase this amount. Food Educators are service members, not employees, and thus do not qualify for unemployment benefits upon completion or release from the program
● Segal AmeriCorps Education Award from the National Service Trust in the amount of $6,345 upon
successful completion of service
● Student Loan forbearance on qualifying loans during the service term
● Health care coverage including dental and vision
● Subsidized childcare for qualified members
● Basic Food Benefits eligibility
● Opportunity to learn and grow in the company of other passionate service members
● Federal Holidays excluding Martin Luther King Jr Day (additional time off approved on a
case-by-case basis)

● Professional development including but not limited to:
○ Education - teaching and adapting lessons based on Next Generation Science Standards,
outdoor classroom management, culturally relevant and trauma-informed teaching practices,
mindfulness for resilient educators
○ Gardening- a full year of training and practice of all facets of growing and harvesting food
including special topics such as irrigation, pruning, seed starting and soil stewardship.
○ Equity - brave spaces, “racial equity deep dive,” food justice
○ Professional skills - communication styles, conflict resolution, constructivist listening, resume
and cover letter writing, meeting facilitation, story-telling and virtual content creation

  • A U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the U.S.

● At least 17 years of age by August 23, 2021
● Have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent (or agrees to obtain a high school diploma or its equivalent before using an Education Award)
● Satisfy the National Service Criminal History Check eligibility criteria
● Passion for and understanding of Common Threads’ mission and programs
● Willing and able to serve in-person and remotely in Bellingham and Whatcom County
● Willing and able to travel to multiple service sites in Bellingham and Whatcom County (via personal vehicle, Common Threads vehicle, bike, etc.)
● Willing to serve long hours outside in all weather
● Passionate, committed, creative, adaptable, detail-oriented, capable of working both independently and as a team
● Ability to create own structure within the day and work independently, and be a proactive self-starter on projects
● Basic computer skills

The ideal candidate will also:
● Have experience working with kids
● Have experience gardening, farming, cooking or nutrition
● Familiarity with Google Suite and Zoom
● Speak to what special skills, personal experiences or perspectives they will bring to the team

How to Apply:

● Fill out our application online at If computer access is a barrier to applying, please contact us for a paper application.
● Don’t delay! Applications will be reviewed in batches:
○ First Deadline: April 15th
○ Second Deadline: May 15th
○ If there are still openings after the second batch, applications will be accepted on a rolling
basis until filled.
● For questions or to request reasonable accommodation in the application process, please email Margo Heffron at or call 360-927-1590.

More Information »