State Supreme Court Learning Center seeks new volunteer docents for training

 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 February 18; volunteers are encouraged to submit applications by February 3 to allow time for application review and screening.

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 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 volunteer orientation sessions starting February 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.

For an application, visit www.courts.mi.gov/education/learning-center/pages/volunteer.aspx or call (517) 373- 5027. 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 newsletter, and the 2013-2014 Educator Guide. For more information, visit the Learning Center website at www.courts.michigan.gov/education/learning-center/.

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