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. You will find countless taquerias serving authentic Mexican dishes and plenty of opportunities to practice your Spanish! 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.
Notre Dame AmeriCorps (NDA) partners with schools and nonprofit organizations in Watsonville including public, private, and charter schools, after-school programs, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Pajaro Valley Shelter Services. Members do the majority of their service at one of these sites serving as Academic Aides or supporting a variety of programs, but also serve on a team of collaborative and dedicated NDA members. Throughout the year our team comes together for bi-weekly team meetings, service projects, and team weekends to build skills, explore community issues, and reflect on service. Over half of our members immerse themselves in the local culture by choosing to live in our community housing. If this sounds like an amazing way to spend a year, continue reading for more about our service opportunities! Our Site Director can also provide more detailed service descriptions.
Site Director: Ricardo Sneed
Phone Number: 831-406-1417
Second Harvest Food Bank
Second Harvest Food Bank's mission is to empower individuals to end hunger and malnutrition on the Central Coast. Nutrition Educators, one member will assist in the Passion for Produce peer nutrition education program, and another member will assist the Food for Children Program. Agency Relations member will serve a crucial role assisting in the efficient functioning of the food distribution center, managing volunteers, monitoring partnering agencies, engaging in various outreach and communication activities (blogging, events), and supporting the organization. Bilingual Spanish/English fluency preferred.
Ceiba College Preparatory Academy
Ceiba College Prep is a thriving public charter school (6th-12th) that prepares historically underserved students for college and beyond. A team of 4 NDA members serve at Ceiba, each providing small group, targeted academic support for students, supporting grade level initiatives, and implementing extracurricular activities such as sports, literature, art and service clubs.
Cesar Chavez Middle School - After-School Program
The after school program, “Club Chavez”, aims to both support students academically and offer fun opportunities for them after the regular school day. The program offers a variety of activities including homework help, computer skills, biking, cooking, and science workshops. The NDA member will support and supervise these activities committing to helping students succeed in both their academic and personal development.
Moreland Notre Dame School
Moreland Notre Dame School is a K-8 Catholic school, founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, California Province. The member serving here will assist where best fit within a first through fifth grade classroom to provide support to large and small groups and with individual students. Additionally, the NDA position supports the after school program through recreational supervision and academic support.
Calabasas Elementary School
Calabasas Elementary School is a public school serving about 625 students in grades K-6. The majority of students come from low-income families and speak Spanish in their homes. The NDA member will provide systematic academic intervention (RTI) to small groups of students having difficulty learning and will assist newcomer students in the the English Language Development class. Members will also work in the school’s extensive afterschool program providing instruction and support in academic and/or enrichment activities. Bilingual Spanish/English fluency preferred.
Alianza Charter School
Alianza Charter School is a K-8th grade bilingual school of choice located in open farmland close to the coastal foothills. The majority of its students come from low-income families and are English language learners. Two NDA members serve at Alianza, providing support for students in acquiring bilingual skills, knowledge, and self-confidence necessary for academic and social success. The NDA members will serve in both the day and after school program, providing academic support to students and assisting in enrichment activities. Bilingual Spanish/English fluency preferred.
H.A. Hyde Elementary School
H.A. Hyde Elementary is a neighborhood elementary school that serves students grades K-5. There is emphasis on encouraging each student’s individual progress and personal growth as well as supporting the needs of their families. The NDA member here serves in both the day and after school program, providing academic support to small and large groups of students and assisting in enrichment activities.
Starlight Elementary School
Starlight Elementary serves over 700 students, making it the largest elementary school in Pajaro Valley Unified School District. It is especially focused on meeting both the academic and health/wellness goals of its students and community. The NDA member's responsibilities are focused in the day and after school programs. In addition to providing academic support and supervision for students in reading and homework, the member’s focus area is to support Starlight’s unique and coveted project (Starlight-Chavez Community Project) in conjunction with community partners to improve health and well-being of students and families.
Landmark Elementary School
Landmark Elementary School is a K-5 Elementary School and the majority of its students come from low-income families and are English language learners. The NDA member’s responsibilities are focused in the day and after school programs, and include providing academic support to students, assisting classroom teachers and after-school coordinators. Members also have the opportunity to creatively initiate after school clubs or activities such as producing a literary magazine or school newspaper, yoga, guitar, arts and crafts, etc.
Pajaro Valley Shelter Services
Pajaro Valley Shelter Services is a non-profit organization that provides emergency shelter to low-income and homeless women and children, as well as transitional housing and life skills for low-income families as they strive to accomplish agreed upon goals and remove barriers to self-sufficiency. The NDA member will support a variety of shelter programs and operations that support clients from their first phone call to the shelter, to checking in, setting and achieving their personal goals, managing their finances, and transitioning from the program. This member must be able to communicate fluently in Spanish and English.
Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School
The mission of Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School (SCCOSS) is to provide quality science education in the outdoors to 5th and 6th grade students. Notre Dame AmeriCorps members with SCCOSS will help lead outdoor science lessons and support SCCOSS mentor-naturalists during science field studies. When ready, the member will teach pre-designed science lessons to groups of students in the field. The member will provide positive role modeling and guidance to high school cabin leaders, help create program materials, will participate in student programming (large group assemblies, campfire programs, song sessions, and more), and expand their knowledge of science and education during planning time.
Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes
Founded in 1989, Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes is a community-based organization dedicated to alleviating hunger among the working poor families, farmworkers, and elderly, disabled, and homeless individuals of the Pajaro Valley. Each day we manifest the values of service, compassion, and justice in our work. The NDA member will provide direct service to our clients, focusing on the education and referrals components of our mission and providing direct services, education, and training to our clients and low-income volunteers and outreach to potential clients, volunteers, and community partners. Bilingual Spanish/English fluency preferred.
5405 Loch Raven Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21239
Phone:(410) 532-6864 - Fax: (410) 532-2418
Apopka, FL (Orlando area)