Fresh strawberries. Delicious burritos. Waves, redwoods and sunshine. Watsonville, California is located along the central coast of the state, about a mile from the sparkling Pacific Ocean, south of Santa Cruz and north of Monterey. The city has a strong community vibe rooted in the culture, hard work, and compassion of the residents. Every Friday afternoon, residents can be found selecting fresh locally grown produce at the farmers market in the center of downtown. Countless taquerias serving authentic Mexican dishes are found on every corner. On the weekend, the beach is a great place to check for a fun surf spot or you can make your way into the Santa Cruz mountains for a hike amongst the redwoods.
Watsonville is a prime location for people enthusiastic about youth, agriculture, the outdoors and history. Our members serve in local public, private and charter schools, at the Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Pajaro Valley Shelter Services. If this sounds like an amazing way to spend a year, continue reading for more about our service opportunities!
Site Director: Mary Helen Gillen
Pajaro Valley Unified School District
Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) covers a predominately agricultural area, and includes sections of both Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. While neighboring cities enjoy relative prosperity, the farming towns of Watsonville and Pajaro are located in pockets of conspicuous poverty. Largely the children of immigrant farmworkers, the students struggle against daily challenges to academic and personal success. A majority of the students who attend the schools live in poverty and are English language learners.
NDA members' responsibilities are focused in both the day and after school programs, and include providing academic support to students, assisting classroom teachers and after school coordinators. Academic emphasis is placed on Language Arts, Mathematics and Science/Technology. Members also have the opportunity to creatively initiate parental involvement programs and after school clubs or activities such as producing a literary magazine or school newspaper, yoga, guitar, art, sports etc.
Schools currently served by NDA members: Alianza Charter School (K-8), Calabasas Elementary, Cesar Chavez Middle, Freedom Elementary, Lakeview Middle, Landmark Elementary and Starlight Elementary.
For more information, visit: www.pvusd.net
Moreland Notre Dame School
Moreland Notre Dame School is a Catholic school, founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, California Province. The faculty and staff, in partnership with parents, work collaboratively to provide students with the foundation of Christ-centered faith and life-long learning. The student population at Moreland Notre Dame is diverse, drawing on the population of the agriculturally based region.
The member serving here will provide academic support to students (K-8) through assisting teachers in their classrooms with large and small groups and with individual students. Additionally, the AmeriCorps position supports the after school program through recreational supervision, academic tutoring and club activities.
For more information, visit: www.mndschool.org
Ceiba College Prep
Ceiba College Prep is a thriving public charter school that prepares historically under-served students for college and beyond. Our middle school program is based on high expectations, a small school setting with personalized attention, a longer school day and school year, and a positive, structured school environment. Ceiba students are enrolled in a challenging academic course load as well as art and physical education classes.
Each NDA member will be partnered with grade level team in order to foster a strong relationship with staff, students and families. Members provide small group, targeted academic support for students as well as design and run extracurricular activities including sports, literature, art and service clubs.
For more information, visit: www.ceibaprep.org
Second Harvest Food Bank
Second Harvest Food Bank's mission is to educate and involve individuals to end hunger and malnutrition on the Central Coast. Member agencies shop at the Second Harvest warehouse and take food to the low income families and individuals who are seeking it. To assist member agencies in accessing food, Second Harvest offers several nutritional and educational outreach programs that enable community members to invest their time in the health of and access to food in their neighborhoods.
Nutrition Programs (2 positions): Members will assist in expanding the Passion for Produce peer nutrition education program to additional community sites throughout Santa Cruz County. On a regular basis, these members will plan and execute bilingual nutrition education presentations and cooking demonstrations to low-income people in Santa Cruz County.
Agency Relations (1 position): One member assigned to Agency Relations will assist in providing customer service, trainings, and technical assistance to Santa Cruz County agencies. This member will support the efficient functioning of the member agency distribution and delivery programs and SHFB’s direct distribution programs.
For more information, visit: www.thefoodbank.org
5405 Loch Raven Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21239
Phone:(410) 532-6864 - Fax: (410) 532-2418
Apopka, FL (Orlando area)