Garden Programs Coordinator – UACS

Location of Service: University Assisted Community Schools – 4530 Papermill Dr NW, Knoxville, TN 37909

About University Assisted Community Schools:

Pond Gap Elementary’s Garden is administered through the University of Tennessee’s University Assisted Community Schools Program (UACS). While the member will work with UACS programming on the whole, they will be primarily responsible for the garden and its relationship with the community.

UACS is an initiative that aims to support the full needs of all students, with an emphasis on social-emotional growth. Community schools go beyond the traditional education-only lens of many public schools, aiming to be a hub for resources and opportunities for all community members.

The garden’s mission blends permaculture ethics with community school pillars. By equitably caring for people and the earth, it is the goal of the garden to provide positive physical and social-emotional health benefits, expand and enrich learning opportunities, and act as a gathering space for community engagement. The garden aims to be a resource for people of all ages, providing free, fresh produce, increasing native biodiversity, and spreading environmental stewardship throughout Pond Gap.



  • Manage, cultivate, and obtain a yield from the 1/4 acre food forest and raised bed garden at Pond Gap Elementary School
  • Maintain and upkeep hardscape and student engagement elements in the garden
  • Continue to develop the garden as a permaculture ecosystem and native plant haven, balancing school and community desires with garden needs
  • Organize student/family produce packs or an alternative way to share the yield with the community
  • Ensure the garden is best meeting the needs of students, teachers, parents, and the community
  • Analyze the garden’s efficacy in meeting its goals (both established and member-driven goals) and make adjustments to better achieve those goals
  • Supervise and manage current/regular volunteers, recruit future volunteers, and maintain and establish volunteer connections
  • Engage students and community members via community garden events
  • Connect and maintain connections with community partners who will support the mission and goals of the garden

After-School Program:

  • Fill lead and support roles in the Pond Gap Elementary UACS after-school program, including that of academic tutoring support and enrichment programming (art, music, cooking, garden, science, technology, etc.)
  • Perform other duties related to the UACS program such as supervising snack, recess, dismissal duty, and evening meals
  • Engage in classroom management strategies, emotional co-regulation, and conflict management/de-escalation with students
  • Develop respectful relationships with students that give space for them to thrive, meeting them where they are

School Day Enrichment:

  • Plan and implement environmental education garden lessons that align with grade level science, math, reading, and social studies standards
  • Coordinate with classroom teachers and staff to provide educational opportunities and lessons in the garden
  • Engage the school’s Kindergarten through 5th grade student population directly in the garden through a variety of mediums – from direct instruction to indirect exploration opportunities

The member(s) in this position will have the opportunity to gain the following skills/credentials:


  • Garden/public greenspace management
  • Volunteer management
  • Project design, development, and management
  • Crop planning and native/perennial crop management
  • Community engagement

After-School Program:

  • Full-class and small-group instruction and lesson planning
  • Classroom management
  • Conflict management

School Day Enrichment:

  • Full-class outdoor instruction
  • Connecting environmental education to standards
  • Advocacy for the garden and its value to teachers, staff, and administrators
  • Ability to complete tasks and projects independently, but also function as part of a team
  • Experience in plant/crop care
  • Experience or willingness to learn about permaculture, native plants, plant guilds, and no-till no-chemical gardening practices
  • Experience working with elementary-aged children and a respect for students as people
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • The strength and capacity to advocate for students’ and the garden’s best needs
  • Strong organization and time management skills with the ability to juggle a range of duties
  • Flexibility and a willingness to grow personally and professionally
  • Ability to perform physical tasks associated with managing a garden
  • Ability to manage volunteers
  • Ability to work outside in a variety of weather conditions
  • Ability to maintain programming in place and put their personal touch on future programming

Equity and Inclusion: The Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and will take action to ensure that members and employees are treated equally without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, gender, romantic/sexual orientation, age, handicap, cultural or religious convictions.  CAC AmeriCorps provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees.  Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation at any point in the recruitment / employment process.

This job is no longer accepting applications.