Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center needs volunteers

The Michigan Supreme Court is seeking volunteers to serve as docents for the Court's Learning Center.

Volunteer docents 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. 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.

Learning Center Coordinator Rachael Drenovsky encourages new volunteers to share their time and expertise with tour groups, stressing that docents do not need a background in education, law, or government. "That kind of experience is helpful but certainly not necessary," Drenovsky said. "What's essential is having an interest in the law and a passion for sharing knowledge and enthusiasm with others; Learning Center docents are ambassadors for the judicial branch." Volunteers 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 Thursdays, 9 a.m. to noon, starting Sept. 30. Classes will include information about the Michigan judicial system, the Learning Center exhibits, and tips for giving great tours. Volunteers will need to attend all five training sessions. Applications are due by Monday, Sept. 27. Visit the Learning Center web site at http://www.courts.michigan.gov/plc/volunteer.htm or call (517) 373-5027 for an application. Interviews and background checks will be 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. An online form for school tours is available at http://www.courts.michigan.gov/plc/misc/SchoolTourRequest.pdf.

Published: Thu, Sep 23, 2010