After participating as a service volunteer, some volunteers elect to continue their training and expand the number of activities for which they are eligible to participate. For these individuals we offer the Docent Training Course, about 45 hours of additional training. Docents are asked to commit to 100 service hours per year.
Docent interpreters engage Zoo visitors in informal discussion about the animals, their exhibits and conservation. Using "biofacts" - skulls, skins, feathers, eggs - or sometimes even a live animal, docents provide a very personal and educational experience for children and adults. Interpreters not only have the opportunity to directly deliver the Zoo's conservation message, but also to learn a great deal about wildlife and current environmental issues.
Docents present information on animals and conservation in a more formal, classroom setting. Presentations are offered on location at schools, camps, churches, nursing facilities, etc. Live animals and biofacts are used to demonstrate concepts and to provide an educational "hands-on" experience for kids and adults.
Part of some 1st, 2nd & 3rd grade curricula, these programs run weekdays throughout the school year. Early elementary students learn about animal food, movement, body coverings and habitats. These programs are taught entirely by docents and include hands-on animal encounters, classroom instruction and animal observation on Zoo grounds.
If you are interested in becoming a Cleveland Metroparks Zoo volunteer, please fill out a volunteer interest form on-line and we will contact you with more information. Or, contact the Volunteer office at 216-661-6500 ext. 4494.