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Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement Art Specialist (Temporary Full-Time) in Long Island City, New York

Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement is Western Queen's largest independent youth development not-for-profit organization. We operate diverse programs from Immigrant continuous to evolve and be a lively and vital beacon for the entire lifespan of all of Western Queen. Immigrant Services, Senior Services, Youth Services, elementary and middle school afterschool programs; summer day. In addition, we run evening teen centers, college readiness, and youth employment programs. Fusing arts and culture with the SEL framework is a cornerstone of our youth development approach. In it is over a century of service, Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement


Riis Academy seeks dynamic, creative, and engaging individuals who enjoy working with children, working in groups, and being part of a community. As an Art Specialist, you will be responsible for leading our afterschool groups, providing group supervision during program activities, facilitating activities/writing lesson plans, and performing minor administrative duties during the program.

Major Duties & Responsibilities

  • Create, and implement successful educational, recreation, art activities, youth leadership, community service lesson plans.

  • Prepare, demonstrate and teach sequential skill-building lessons in art, including drawing, painting, lettering, and art history

  • Provide instruction by which scholars develop aesthetic concepts and appreciations and the ability to make qualitative judgments about art

  • Explain principles, techniques, and safety procedures to students, and demonstrate proper handling of art materials, tools, and equipment, including cleanup

  • Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet the scholars' varying needs, interests, and developmental levels

  • Understand the versatility of acrylic paints: dry brushing, staining, layering, underpainting, mono-printing

  • Understand a variety of "masters" techniques

  • Knows and can apply elements of design and modern principles of art

  • Knows the fundamentals and different approaches to drawing media technique

  • Instruct scholars in proper care and use of tools and equipment

  • Prepare art materials and classrooms for art-making activities

  • Organize storage areas and control the use of materials, equipment, and tools to prevent loss or abuse and to minimize the time required for distribution and collection

  • Evaluate each scholar's performance and growth in knowledge and aesthetic understanding

  • Help students observe, discuss, and write about their art

  • Promote positive character development in all youth

  • Plan and present art displays and exhibitions designed to exhibit scholars' work

  • Assist with coordinating and facilitating student trips to Museums, art shows, and/or art galleries

    • Perform any other duties as may be assigned by Administration
  • Ensure the health, safety, and well-being of children in the program, by providing close supervision of all activities.

  • Maintain accurate program documentation (incident/accident/behavior reports, attendance & sign-in / sign-out sheets).

  • Prepare the learning environment by creating a welcoming space that exhibits student work.

  • Work as part of a collaborative team; provide support to other Specialists and Group Leaders in implementing activities.

  • Understand and communicate the Jacob Riis philosophy and the goals of the Riis Academy Afterschool program to the participants and parents.

  • Other duties as assigned by Supervisors.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Actively participate in all aspects of professional development, including scheduled supervision, weekly team meetings, pre-service training, and additional paid professional development training required.

  • Organize and/or participate in external special events to promote the Agency's mission and image, cultivate relationships, and generate broad support.

  • Adhere to all Department of Health and New York State OCFS policies and standards- including completing all training minimum training hours


  • High School Diploma- or GED

  • Interest and experience in creating interactive and educational/artistic activities

  • Minimum of two years of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required.

  • A genuine enthusiasm for developing professional skills through training opportunities and field practice

  • Availability between 2:00 – 6:00; Monday-Friday during the school year

  • Candidates who are qualified to lead instruction in more than one activity preferred as well.

  • Must pass a pre-employment background investigation including but not limited to employment history and criminal background check

  • Ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with a broad range of people, including participants, school staff, parents, volunteers, and other

  • Experience working in an after school setting: Elementary/ Middle School Aged students

  • Flexibility, with the ability to adapt to changing circumstances