The mission of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Essex County is to enable people to improve their lives and communities through partnerships that put experience and research knowledge to work. Our programs are developed in direct response to community input, and are based on the most current information available from Cornell and other Land Grant universities from across the nation. This VISTA position will operate one of these programs. The Power of Produce (POP) Club is a free kids’ program offered at two local farmers’ markets. The program aims to bring more families out to the markets and to get kids excited about eating local produce. The POP Club offers educational and engaging lessons, activities, crafts, and games each week to kids of all ages, but specifically geared towards 4 – 10 years old. The weekly themes are often nutrition, agriculture, nature, or environmental based topics. Alongside the fun activities, the POP Club offers kids the chance to taste test a fruit or vegetable purchased from the market. Kids are encouraged to try new produce they might not have tasted before. Additionally, the POP Club gives each kid $5 to purchase their own fruit or vegetable while shopping at the market. Kids are empowered to spend their own money and make healthy choices. Not only does this support our community’s youth, but it supports our community of local farmers and producers. The money we hand out to children stays in the local economy, spent directly at the market. Consistently, over $2000 each season is spent at local farms by POP Club participants. This program has important impacts on the local food system, local food access, healthy eating, and community opportunities for youth and families. The AmeriCorps VISTAs are essential in carrying out the POP Club, ensuring this free and fun program remains offered in our community.
Member duties: – Operate youth programming at local farmers’ markets. – Engage with youth and families attending the market by offering hands-on lessons and activities, providing a market-fresh taste test to youth, and distributing money to participants to purchase their own fruit or vegetable while shopping at the market. – Plan and prepare lessons and activities themed around nutrition, agriculture, nature, or environmental science. – Research topics and activity ideas, prep craft materials, print out activity sheets, and/or create your own engaging activity ideas ahead of the market. – Set up a tent, table, and supplies at the beginning of each market and pack-up at the end of each market. – Handle money distribution responsibly and maintain organized spending records of grant funds. – Keep organized participation records and help collect program data throughout the season including administering an end-of-season survey. – Create social media posts and advertise the program to the community. – Work with the public and employ good written and verbal communication skills. – Assist in grant writing to secure future funding for the program. – Maintain a willingness to be creative and have fun with the position. – Remain flexible including flexibility in the schedule. The farmers’ markets are on Fridays and Saturdays. This position requires working on Saturdays, including early mornings and does not adhere to a 9-5 Mon-Fri schedule. Outside of market hours, there is flexibility to create your own hours. – Collaborate with another summer VISTA on these tasks. – Enjoy being in a rural area, where outdoor activities are plentiful, but urban social activities are more limited.
Program benefits: Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend, Living Allowance, Training
Terms: Permits attendance at school during off hours, Car recommended, Permits working at another job during off hours
Service areas: Community and Economic Development, Community Outreach, Children/Youth, Education, Environment, Health, Hunger
Skills: Communications, Community Organization, Education, Fine arts/Crafts, Leadership, Teaching/Tutoring, Youth Development, Environment, Team Work
Program Type: AmeriCorps VISTA
Program: 2023 Adirondack Farmers’ Market Youth Programming Summer VISTA
Program Start/End Date: 6/19/2023 – 8/31/2023
Work Schedule: Summer
Education Level: Some college, College graduate
Age requirement: Minimum: 18 Maximum: None
Program Locations: New York
Deadline to Apply: May 20, 2023
Volunteer benefits: Earn a biweekly living allowance of $675.08 (Every two weeks for 10 weeks) and receive an education award of $1,459.26 towards school and training or cash award of $345.80 at end-of-service.
Contact: Please email your letter of interest and resume to Carly Summers, 8487 U.S. Route 9 Lewis, New York 12950, (518) 962-4810 x409, email@example.com.
Note: This is an Americorps VISTA Summer Associate Position. While CCE Essex is a host organization, this volunteer position is not under CCE Essex employment.