Duly Noted ...

Volunteer Docents Needed for Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center

LANSING, MI, August 26, 2014 – The Learning Center needs 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. Responsibilities include leading interactive activities and demonstrating 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.
Volunteers need enthusiasm, love of learning, and commitment – but no legal experience – to serve as docents.

The next training sessions begin October 2; volunteers are encouraged to submit applications by September 15 to allow time for application review and screening.

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 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.”

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

The required orientation sessions starting October 2 will be offered on five consecutive Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Classes will include information about the Michigan judicial system, the Learning Center exhibits, and tips for giving great tours.

Call (517) 373-5027 for an application, or visit http://courts.mi.gov/education/learning-center/pages/volunteer.aspx where there is an application form PDF. 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.

The Learning Center offers resources for educators and students, including lesson plans, educational games, a free e-newsletter, and the 2014–2015 Educator Guide. For more information, visit the Learning Center website at http://courts.mi.gov/education/learning-center/