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Somerset Elementary School-RSU19
Students build and fill raised beds at the Somerset Elementary School Garden

Somerset Elementary School-RSU19

Somerset Elementary School in Hartland, and Sebasticook Valley Elementary School in Newport, sit at the crossroads of rural Maine where three major interstates converge. These rural schools boast large campuses in a beautiful, agriculturally thriving part of Maine. Outdoor recreation, including fishing, boating, camping, skiing, and snowmobiling are important parts of the culture. Agriculture is also a big part of the landscape and lifestyle.

The service members at Somerset and Sebasticook Valley Elementary Schools will collaborate with each other and with the full-time garden coordinator at the other elementary school in the district, Etna Dixmont School. The Etna Dixmont School recently transitioned from having a full time FoodCorps service member to a district/grant funded staff member, who is a FoodCorps alumna working to continue growing the program. Both Somerset and Sebasticook Valley schools have Farm to School Teams composed of the principal, two teachers, a parent, and the kitchen manager. The teams were both accepted into the Northeast Farm to School Institute where they created long and short term sustainable goals for the school’s farm to school program. Somerset Elementary has a 26 acre campus with grown in nature trails it seeks to revive. Sebasticook Valley is on the same campus as the district’s new middle/high school. Both schools are also building new infrastructure this summer including an outdoor classroom pavilion, new raised beds, and a greenhouse, all purchased with pandemic relief funding. The goal is for the service members to work with the school team to take part in developing a comprehensive garden plan that will include community volunteers. The service member would also work with the kitchen to support connections between local food providers and the school kitchen and district director of nutrition.

FoodCorps service members at this site will be part of the Maine cohort. When you serve in Maine, you are joining a family of 12 Service members serving in 8 communities across the state. We connect both virtually and in person to spend time together and learn. No matter where you are, you have the support of the cohort and Malia and Ryan who are FoodCorps Maine staff.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Respect for and enjoyment of elementary school students is a must
  • We would hope that the service member would have an excellent background in gardening, healthy food choices and composting
  • Presently we have garden areas, raised beds, hoop houses, fencing, a composting area and the beginnings of a small orchard but sadly all are not cared for consistently
  • The potential for a sustainable system in both schools is there but we lack organization and an executable plan to support healthy produce for our school and community
  • Ideally our service member would be a champion of students, promote a healthy lifestyle and be an effective communicator who is willing to engage with parents and community members

Somerset Elementary School in Hartland, and Sebasticook Valley Elementary School in Newport, sit at the crossroads of rural Maine where three major interstates converge. These rural schools boast large campuses in a beautiful, agriculturally thriving part of Maine. Outdoor recreation, including fishing, boating, camping, skiing, and snowmobiling are important parts of the culture. Agriculture is also a big part of the landscape and lifestyle.

The service members at Somerset and Sebasticook Valley Elementary Schools will collaborate with each other and with the full-time garden coordinator at the other elementary school in the district, Etna Dixmont School. The Etna Dixmont School recently transitioned from having a full time FoodCorps service member to a district/grant funded staff member, who is a FoodCorps alumna working to continue growing the program. Both Somerset and Sebasticook Valley schools have Farm to School Teams composed of the principal, two teachers, a parent, and the kitchen manager. The teams were both accepted into the Northeast Farm to School Institute where they created long and short term sustainable goals for the school’s farm to school program. Somerset Elementary has a 26 acre campus with grown in nature trails it seeks to revive. Sebasticook Valley is on the same campus as the district’s new middle/high school. Both schools are also building new infrastructure this summer including an outdoor classroom pavilion, new raised beds, and a greenhouse, all purchased with pandemic relief funding. The goal is for the service members to work with the school team to take part in developing a comprehensive garden plan that will include community volunteers. The service member would also work with the kitchen to support connections between local food providers and the school kitchen and district director of nutrition.

FoodCorps service members at this site will be part of the Maine cohort. When you serve in Maine, you are joining a family of 12 Service members serving in 8 communities across the state. We connect both virtually and in person to spend time together and learn. No matter where you are, you have the support of the cohort and Malia and Ryan who are FoodCorps Maine staff.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Respect for and enjoyment of elementary school students is a must
  • We would hope that the service member would have an excellent background in gardening, healthy food choices and composting
  • Presently we have garden areas, raised beds, hoop houses, fencing, a composting area and the beginnings of a small orchard but sadly all are not cared for consistently
  • The potential for a sustainable system in both schools is there but we lack organization and an executable plan to support healthy produce for our school and community
  • Ideally our service member would be a champion of students, promote a healthy lifestyle and be an effective communicator who is willing to engage with parents and community members