Volunteers sought for high court Learning Center

Volunteers need enthusiasm, love of learning and commitment — but no legal experience — to serve as docents for the Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center.

The next training sessions begin Feb. 18; volunteers are encouraged to submit applications by Feb. 3 to allow time for application review and screening.

The 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 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

“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 volunteer orientation sessions starting Feb. 18 will be offered on five consecutive Tuesdays 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.

Visit www.courts.mi.gov/education/learning or call (517) 373- 5027 for an application.

Interviews and background checks are required for all applicants. The 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 center offers resources for educators and students, including lesson plans, educational games, a free newsletter and the 2013-2014 Educator Guide.