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Check with seller Play Partner (Seasonal) Chicago

Published date: April 3, 2022
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Join a team making a difference for animals and nature at a mission based organization!

The Chicago Zoological Society's Brookfield Zoo is known throughout the world as a leader in animal welfare and conservation and our dedicated staff have a true sense of purpose and commitment.

In July 2001, Chicago Zoological Society embarked on creating a revolutionary zoo experience for families. The result is Hamill Family Play Zoo, an interactive play adventure filled with animals, plants, and people that engages children and families helping to develop caring attitudes towards the natural world. The Play Zoo lets children touch animals, paint murals, plant gardens, discover insects and so much more. It is an amazingly fun way to connect with nature. With approximately 300 individual animals representing 58 species, children also have an opportunity to connect with a variety of animals in a unique setting.

The Play Partner (seasonal) contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by facilitating play experiences in the Hamill Family Play Zoo for children, newborns to age 10, to provide fun and meaningful ways of connecting children with animals and nature and to provide adults with the approaches and encouragement to help children develop caring attitudes towards the natural world in support of the Society’s mission.

Primary duties and responsibilities:
Facilitate play with children, aged birth-10, including holding live animals, in both indoor and outdoor settings, as assigned.
Set up, disperse, and clean up materials on a daily basis in both indoor and outdoor settings as assigned; responsible for the care and proper use of equipment and property.
Attend meetings and training sessions as assigned.
Provide assistance to volunteers as directed.
Other related duties as assigned.

Position Requirements and Specifications

The requirements for this position include the following:
High school diploma or (GED) equivalent required.
Two months paid and/or volunteer/unpaid experience in any of the following areas required: facilitation of play, art, drama, music, or other creative activities; working with and/or supervising adult and youth volunteers; Early Childhood Education; or other educational and/or recreational experience with children aged birth-10.
English fluency at a professional working proficiency.
Must have excellent customer service skills and/or demonstrated ability to work with the public effectively.
Must have strong ability to communicate effectively with children of diverse backgrounds ages birth-10 and their caregivers.
Must be an enthusiastic, flexible team player and able to work in an engaging, stimulating environment.
Must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both verbal and written.
Cultural competency; experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience.

Preferred qualifications:
One year of experience preferred including coursework in Science, Fine Arts, Drama, Early Childhood Education, Environmental Education, or directly related field or subjects.
Experience in a zoo, aquarium, museum, nature center, or art studio environment a plus.
Some basic computer literacy required, with experience in Microsoft Outlook preferred.
Creative skills/abilities such as musician, actor, dancer, artist, gardener, farmer, naturalist, craftsman, costumer designer/seamstress or other skills relevant to the exhibit experience are a plus.
Bilingual in Spanish, Polish, or a language other than English is a plus.

Additional Information: This position description summarizes the primary duties and functions of this position, but should not be considered a complete listing of every duty the incumbent may ever be called upon to perform. Must have a genuine interest in nature and animals. Must be willing and able to learn play facilitation skills. Must work non-standard hours, including a flexible schedule with rotating days, including regular weekends, holidays and evening work, as needed. This seasonal position requires a creative and imaginative individual. Incumbent is expected to incorporate knowledge of the Chicago Zoological Society and the Society’s mission, vision and values into daily operations and job responsibilities. Incumbent is also expected to become familiar with and follow all Society policies and departmental procedures. Position requires ongoing training and continuing education. This is a temporary position.

Additional Information

The Chicago Zoological Society requires all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. New hires must have at least received their first dose of the vaccine prior to their start date and must test weekly until fully vaccinated.

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Brookfield Zoo is open 365 days of the year including all weekends, holidays and some evenings. We are seeking staff that are available to work a flexible, varied schedule Tuesdays – Sundays throughout the year with a typical average of two days/eight hours per week during the off season (fall/winter) and up to five days/35 hours per week during the peak season (spring/summer). This is a temporary/part-time position.
We are currently seeking candidates who are minimally available to work Fridays & Saturdays between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. with a gradual increase in days/hours as we enter peak season. All work schedules are based on business needs.

Pay rate $16.25 per hour.

Schedule Details

This temporary position requires the ability to work non-standard hours including a flexible schedule with rotating days, including regular weekends, holidays and evening work, as needed.

Job Location

Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo

Zip Code



Hamill Family Play Zoo (Education


Conservation, Education & Training

Union Status


Work Shift

Any 5 out of 7 days/week

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