Serving Youth with 4-H CAPITAL
I have experience working with youth, but I don’t have a science background. Can I apply? (short answer: Yes!)
Our AmeriCorps instructors come with all kinds of backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge. It’s okay if you are new to teaching science – we’ll train you in everything you need to know, and give you the resources and confidence to explore more on your own, too! At 4-H CAPITAL, we value a love of learning in all our AmeriCorps instructors and staff. If you love to learn and share new things, you will enjoy being an instructor with our program. We also provide training in all our curriculum areas, classroom management, youth development, professional development, and more.
Will I get to teach in my choice of curriculum area?
We definitely keep people’s preferences in mind as we assign Instructors to our schools, but we can’t promise first choice. What we can tell you is this – every class is considered a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) class, regardless of the main curriculum area, and there is a lot of overlap in our activities. We will train you in ALL of our curriculum areas – because it is the vast range of our activities that makes our program so great! All of our classes get to teach kids how to engineer structures and machines, work with animals, explore nature, play with technology, do cool chemistry, and more – kids (and our instructors) love it!
What types of hours will I be expected to work?
Full-time AmeriCorps members with a 10.5-month term of service serve a total 1700 hours over their term (40-42 hours per week). A typical Full-time schedule is Mon–Fri from 9am–6pm with a lunch break. There may be occasional weekend service days. Other AmeriCorps positions, when offered, may have an adjusted length of term or number of hours.
Is this a paid or volunteer position?
Both! This is a contract service position, which comes with a living stipend distributed at regular intervals, like a paycheck. Stipends are paid on the 15th and last day of the month. Members also receive a Segal Education Award at the end of a completed term of service.
Can I attend school and be an AmeriCorps Member with 4-H CAPITAL?
Yes, you can; however, it can be difficult and exhausting for full timers to juggle both. Classes cannot conflict with your scheduled service hours.
Can I have another part-time job while serving with 4-H CAPITAL?
Yes, many of our members choose to work an additional evening or weekend job; however, this can be challenging to schedule and may be tiring to manage. Additional jobs cannot conflict with scheduled service hours or mandatory service events.
Where would I serve?
Morning hours and Fridays are held at our office at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service site, located at 1600B Smith Road, Austin TX. Afternoons are held at one of our afterschool sites, 4-H CAPITAL serves about 20 different schools, and we are not able to guarantee which school you will serve in until after you start. We do get input on your location preference. Instructors typically teach classes at 1-2 schools each week.
Does 4-H CAPITAL provide housing?
Housing is not provided by 4-H CAPITAL, and there is no relocation allowance. We provide members with an Austin Housing Guide, which includes tips and resources from former 4-H CAPITAL members for relocating to and living in Austin. We also connect new members with other incoming members from all Austin AmeriCorps programs through a Facebook group.
Do I need a car?
Having a car and a valid driver’s license is valuable in terms of easing transportation needs to and from the office, and to and from school site. Many of our school sites are not accessible by bus or bike. 4-H CAPITAL does reimburse members for mileage from worksite to worksite (i.e., office to school campus) at the current federally set reimbursement rate. Members generally average $40-$100 mileage reimbursements per month, depending on site placement.
What is the dress code?
Members will be issued AmeriCorps and 4-H CAPITAL t-shirts; you are required to wear these every day you are teaching in the school. Closed-toed shoes are also a requirement while in the school. Jeans, capris or long pants, and knee-length or longer skirts are all acceptable for lower-half attire. When AmeriCorps shirts are not required, members must wear an AmeriCorps pin or patch while serving their hours. The complete dress code will be sent to you before your term of service begins.
Do I get to pick what I teach?
We strive to assign curriculum areas based on your preferences, but we ask instructors to be prepared to teach other areas. But don’t worry — we train everyone in the areas they will be teaching! Every class will include STEM learning. You will have the opportunity to list your preferences for both curriculum and location, although we cannot guarantee that we will be able to meet all of your preferences.
Will I be teaching alone or with a partner?
We plan for all of our instructors to work with teaching partners. In the event of one instructor being out sick, we will try to find a substitute.
What resources are provided to AmeriCorps members?
During your term of service, AmeriCorps members are provided with an abundance of resources. For classroom help, we have curriculum specialists to help you with any questions or concerns you may have. In addition, you will have access to a large warehouse for all the supplies and materials you may need for your classes. Outside of the classroom, you will be provided with a series of professional development and Life After AmeriCorps trainings in order to give you the skills necessary to take the next step in your professional journey. 4-H CAPITAL provides its AmeriCorps members with opportunities to develop leadership and collaboration skills, as well as other tools they need to succeed beyond AmeriCorps!
As an AmeriCorps member do I receive any benefits?
In addition to the living stipend, mileage reimbursement, and Segal Education award, Full-time AmeriCorps members receive optional health, dental and vision coverage. Full-timers can also receive childcare assistance. All AmeriCorps members also have the option of signing up to receive SNAP benefits (food stamps); a representative will guide members through the application process at the beginning of their term.
What skills will I gain from a year of service working as an AmeriCorps member with 4-H CAPITAL?
4-H CAPITAL staff offer a wide variety of training and professional development opportunities throughout the year. In addition to three weeks of Pre-service Orientation (PSO), members have the option of taking part in an ongoing professional development series with topics ranging from resume building to computer software proficiency. Members who seek curriculum-writing experience have many opportunities to do so. Beyond training, members learn and put into practice real-life skills that can be applied to a variety of working environments. We place focus on the future and work together to make this a dynamic year for all of our AmeriCorps members.
Are you psyched to apply for a 4-H CAPITAL AmeriCorps position? See more info about full time positions now!