Volunteers needed for Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center

A passion for learning is among the requirements for a volunteer opportunity with the Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center.

The Learning Center needs volunteer docents to guide school groups and other visitors through the 3,800 square foot education center, located on the first floor of the Michigan Hall of Justice.

Legal training and teaching experience are helpful but not required, stressed Learning Center Coordinator Rachael Drenovsky.

"Learning Center docents are ambassadors for the judicial branch, so they need to be good learners and communicators," Drenovsky said. "Our docents are diverse in experience and education, but they have this in common: they love to learn and they're enthusiastic, and effective, in sharing their learning with others."

Docents' responsibilities include demonstrating interactive computer games and other hands-on activities at the center, including a virtual courtroom. Other duties include working behind the scenes on workshops and special programs.

Docents attend a series of three-hour orientation sessions and commit to a minimum of eight hours per month. Some positions have additional time and training commitments.

The next series of volunteer orientation sessions will be offered on five consecutive Fridays, 9 a.m. to noon, starting Sept. 30. Classes will cover the Michigan judicial system and Learning Center exhibits, as well as tips for giving great tours. Volunteer applications are due by Sept. 16.

Visit the Learning Center web site at www.courts.michigan.gov/plc/volunteer.htm or call (517) 373-5027 for an application. Interviews and background checks are required for all applicants.

The Learning Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tours last one hour and are available on a walk-in basis, although groups of 10 or more are asked to schedule tours in advance by calling (517) 373-7171 or e-mailing DrenovskyR@courts.mi.gov.

Published: Tue, Aug 30, 2011