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K-8th Grade UACS Garden Manager and Afterschool Instructor - Hamilton School

The Garden Manager is a part of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships program to incorporate garden-oriented education into the curriculum of Andrew Hamilton School. The Garden Manager will develop and maintain the raised produce beds, lead after-school programming that builds and sustains community partnerships and connects the students to the garden, and operate a small produce distribution program at Andrew Hamilton School.

Andrew Hamilton is a university-assisted community school (UACS).The University of Pennsylvania’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships UACS programming creates mutually beneficial partnerships between community stakeholders and Penn partners to implement inquiry-based learning via both in-school and afterschool programming in select West Philadelphia public schools.  We work to create learning experiences for youth that are enriching, fun and academically beneficial.  UACS Afterschool Instructors provide enthusiastic and educational direct service to students, participate in planning activities, assist with management of necessary paperwork such as taking attendance, and report to the UACS Coordinator or Site Director of their designated program site.

By tending school gardens, operating a local farmer’s market, and implementing garden-oriented curricula, this position will serve to increase access to local, organic, affordable, nutritious, and culturally-relevant food; provide a space to deepen students’ relationship to and stewardship of the land, water, food, and each other; and improve community health while developing academic skills through hands-on learning opportunities.


Details of Position

Garden Manager is responsible for:

  • Crop planning, weeding, harvesting, and maintenance of all garden spaces.
  • Managing the garden’s small food distribution program.
  • Organizing and attending community volunteer days in the garden (at least monthly)
  • Creating engaging lessons to teach the students topics in social justice, food sovereignty and garden basics such as weeding, composting, transplanting, and harvesting.
  • Creating and implementing structured activities for after-school, which includes: lesson plans, program calendar, and student roster.
  • Creating and implementing garden curricula aligned with school day learning objectives to support teachers and students in school-day garden engagement.
  • Collaborating with Penn student partners in the implementation of after-school curricula with K-8 students
  • Building and sustaining community and school partnerships.
  • Attending regular meetings with supervisor and with Netter Center staff
  • Attending professional development trainings 
  • Implementing proper Netter UACS Policies and Procedures for OST programming
  • Providing a high quality youth development experience for students by reinforcing expectation policies, being a positive adult role model, and forming relationships with the students and their families and teachers.
  • Ensuring the safety, awareness, and engagement of students in the program
  • Taking attendance, assisting with the sign in/sign out process, and managing required paperwork as directed
  • Set up and general clean-up of program space
  • Other duties as assigned

Desired Qualities:

  • Committed to justice and equality
  • Committed to openness, transparency, and fairness
  • Polite, humble, and willing to learn
  • Respectful of all people, cultures, and backgrounds
  • Willing to work both independently and collaboratively  

Desired skills and experiences:

  • Minimum of 1-2 years of farming experience
  • High school diploma required, college degree preferred
  • Completion and passing of all Federal and State background checks/clearances  
  • Minimum of 1 - 2 years experience working with and empowering K-8 students
  • Knowledge of nutrition, food sovereignty and social justice
  • Competence in all aspects of farm management
  • Experience working with a diversity of backgrounds
  • Strong organizational skills
  • The ability to communicate well with diverse members and partners, including teenagers, parents, staff and teachers
  • Able to multitask 
  • The ability to make curriculum relevant to K - 8th grade urban public school students of varying academic abilities
  • The ability to hold students to a high standard of discipline and accountability
  • Able to work in a physically demanding environment (working outside in all kinds of weather, lifting heavy things, etc)
  • Familiarity with West Philadelphia
  • Computer skills, especially MS Excel and Google Suite

Preferred qualifications:

  • Valid driver’s license 
  • Experience operating farm stand or markets is a plus
  • Experience with carpentry and/or garden equipment repair is a plus

Time Commitment: 

  • School-year: 15, up to 20 hours/week
  • Monday – Friday, 3-4 hours a day
  • Year-round position, 1.5 weeks off for winter break 

Pay: This position pays $15/hr 

To apply, please email resume and cover letter to: Anna Balfanz