As we are setting up to begin again after a long break due to the pandemic, we're looking for wonderful folks to join our team.
KOOP is looking for a magical person interested in creating spaces where children play freely with lots of materials. Adults interact with kids using a particular philosophy called playwork that supports freedom, choice & independence. We'll train you in playwork, don't worry! For now, scroll through KOOP Adventure Play's Facebook of Instagram to get a peek at what we do (especially pre-Covid content!)
At KOOP Adventure Play, we create environments ripe for all play types and step back while children to take the lead. We support children's play gently and with subtlety while operating according to playwork philosophy and with respect for children as people with rights. Children are free to bring their interests, ideas and passions to life through self- directed play. We provide materials and uphold an environment ripe for exploration, free from judgement and full of support for the children as they build, create and play their way. Our staff are trained upon hiring as playworkers- a philosophy that puts children as the leaders of the play space, or adventure playground- as they're called in the UK! Children grow and develop through play and we gently support them using the lightest touch possible. Playwork is a small but rapidly- growing field in the US! This offers an opportunity to work with a best-practice adventure play project and an experienced playwork trainer and site leader.
Job Title: Part-time Playworker
Reports to: KOOP Executive Director, Kelsey Langley
Playworkers prioritize child-directed play in this space.
Required: You must believe that children are capable and competent and be able to truly let them lead in this context!
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Ability to create and uphold a climate that is conducive to all types of free play - behavior that is personally directed, freely chosen, and intrinsically motivated.
• Demonstrate professionalism and best practices in playwork & willingness to train in this philosophy
• Maintain the environment, including restocking & organizing materials, building and general site maintenance, including ability to lift heavy play items on occasion (like pallets, tires, lumber or logs)
• Conduct regular risk assessments in collaboration with the AP Team.
• Participate in reflection on play activities daily (written) & at weekly AP staff meetings.
•Willingness to be introspective, accept and act upon team feedback and a mentality that truly keeps the children's best interest at heart.
•Play is deeply personal to children and can bring up a lot for playworkers as well! We operate as a team and help each other learn, grow and work through challenges.
•Maintain sanitation practices in the space which includes mask wearing, cleaning and rotating materials and maximizing play potential inside the increased restrictions that Covid requires.
Competencies & Attributes:
• Flexible, Adaptable, and Patient: On any given day, a playworker might help children build a fort, be involved in a water fight, observe play from a discrete distance, or clear out materials that aren’t being used.
•A playworker does not teach or facilitate specific activities, but responds to children’s ideas and needs in a playful and non-judgmental manner.
• Ability to communicate and collaborate within a team. We're all human and we'll need each other to do this work! Must also be able to communicate with parents of children we work with.
• Ability to separate widely held preconceptions around adult-child relationships, and children’s capacities. Looking for someone who considers children's rights and social justice issues.
• Time management skills, ability to prioritize, and problem-solve independently.
• Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions-- really, we're outside every single day!
Logistic Details of this Job:
We will hire 2-3 people with a variety of shifts available:
•7:45am-12:45pm and 12:30pm-5:45pm June 1- July 31
•This job could extend beyond summer: 2:30-6pm Mon-Fri (or any combination of days in that range) for 2021/2022 school year
•Bachelor's in progress or completed. Perfect for those interested in social work/counseling/play therapy/working with children.
•Responsible and trustworthy with experience working with children
•Looking for someone stepping into site-leadership positions on occasion
•First Aid Training preferred, but can get you certified.
If you read this entire description and are still here and want to apply..... here's how:
Email your resume and a cover letter to Kelsey@KoopAdventurePlay.org
•Subject line: Your Name- Playwork position
•Tell me what speaks to you about this work & about your schedule!
•Tell me how you played as a kid.
•Keep in mind that we're a tiny non-profit where every hire counts. Be sure you can commit!