The Oxford English Dictionary defines a docent as a person who acts as a guide, typically on a voluntary basis, in a museum, art gallery, or zoo. The words comes from the Latin "docere," meaning "to teach." At the Little Rock Zoo, our docents act not merely as guides, orienting and informing zoo visitors, but as teachers and interpreters, delivering interpretive talks and educational programs. Everything they do works to further the Little Rock Zoo's education mission to connect people to nature thorough unique learning experiences that engage their minds, touch their hearts and move them to embrace responsible stewardship of the earth.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS OF A LITTLE ROCK ZOO DOCENT:
- Acting on zoo grounds as a guide to guests, informing them of zoo activities and orienting them to various zoo exhibits and interpretive locations
- Providing interpretive opportunities, activities and events on grounds such as exhibit interpretation to guests
- Delivering lessons for school groups, scout groups, tour groups, camps, etc. on and off grounds
- Assisting zoo staff with special events held on grounds
- Handling education animals and animal artifacts for programs on and off grounds
- Must be at least 18 years old with an education level of high school graduate or higher
- Must be able to work and communicate well with others
- Must be able to volunteer a minimum average of 4 hours per month
- Must complete 40 hours of initial training with a passing grade of 85%
- Must participate in continuing education as required
- Must pass a background investigation
DOCENTS SHOULD BE PREPARED TO:
- Interact with visitors on a regular basis
- Be on their feet for extended periods of time
- Be out of doors for extended periods of time
- Work closely and cooperatively with others
- Work around and with potentially dangerous wild animals in a controlled environment
Classes are held every Saturday, from August 5 - Sept 2. Final exam will be given on Sept 2. Classes are from 9 am - 1 pm. ALL CLASSES ARE MANDATORY!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW CURRENT DOCENT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES!
For more information about our docent program, contact Susan Harris at 501.661.7229.