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Teaching Artist/Reading Tutor for Cultural Exchange Program

TO APPLY: Email cover letter with your skills and qualifications, in addition to your resumé to director@feedtheengine.org by August 15, 2019.

ABOUT THE CULTURAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM: Engine’s Cultural Exchange Program will provide support and opportunity for young New Mainers and English Language Learners (ELL) living in Biddeford using food and art as a vehicle for social cohesion. Outside of the public school system, Biddeford lacks programs and cultural spaces for New Mainers and ELLs that create the relationships that allow them to thrive and participate as full members of the community. The program will create a sense of belonging which has direct links to better health and wellness and build understanding of new cultures with the traditional residents of Biddeford.

Working with Biddeford ELL professionals, Engine, has begun to attract immigrant and refugee youth because we are accessible and affordable. In talking with the children, Engine discovered that when youth are not in school, there might often be one meal a day at home, typically dinner.  Additionally, working with the Biddeford Civil Rights Club comprised of many New Mainers, the cultural importance of having access to food from the students’ homelands was high. From these conversations came the idea that Engine, with its little kitchen and crew of volunteers, could offer a simple meal that is prepared as a group and then eaten together as a “family” followed or preceded by art making or homework assistance to help with literacy. The youth designed the menu and made Swahili potatoes, flatbreads, foo foo and peanut soup, and even Italian gnocchi. The program is not exclusive to ELLs and American youth from the community regularly attend and have developed friendships with the New Mainers.

This program is funded by a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the City of Biddeford, and follows HUD guidelines. 51% of program attendees must qualify as low-to-moderate income per HUD income rules.

Free-to-attend art and food-centered activities will take place weekly on Wednesdays during the school year (tentatively, 3:15-5pm on typical Wednesdays and 12-5 during the once monthly early release) and on Saturday afternoons at lunchtime (from 11-2:30, tentatively). Saturday sessions will be year-round starting after the school year ends.

The ideal candidate is a versatile maker with the ability to engage youth from different cultures. The Teaching Artist/Tutor will receive support from an Education Program Manager, a paid high school intern, a social work intern. Cooking will be done by volunteer chefs from the community.

Skills and Experience:

  • Proficiency in various studio art techniques, for example, sculpture, printmaking, screen printing, clay, painting, drawing.
  • Comfortable operating power tools.
  • Youth engagement skills, one-on-one and group management.
  • Computer literate with Google applications.

Aptitudes:

  • Interest in learning about different cultures;
  • Culturally sensitive to customs;
  • Outgoing, engaging, communicative;
  • Comfortable around youth;

Qualifications:

  • Previous relevant field experience required;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills to report on day’s activities;
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a commitment to and passion for Engine’s mission.

Duties:

  • Design art-making projects with multi-cultural origins.
  • Reading tutoring with recommended reading by Biddeford ELL instructors.

Timeline and Compensation:

This position is a contract position which pays $20/hr. Required program days are: Saturdays September 1, 2019 through June 31, 2020 from 11:30am-1:30pm, and, during the school year, the first-of-the-month Early Release Wednesday from 12pm-5pm, and the remaining Wednesdays in the month from 3:15pm-5:00pm.

This is a contract position and may be renewed for July 1, 2020 through June 31, 2021 if the program is deemed successful by the City of Biddeford.

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