Do you love animals? Working with children? Are you looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity? Check out the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association’s (GLAZA) Docent training program at an information meeting on Saturday, July 15, 2017, 10 am to noon, at the Los Angeles Zoo’s Witherbee Auditorium. Docents serve as volunteer teachers, sharing their knowledge of the Zoo and its flora and fauna with adults and children through touring, educational activities, educational programs, classes and more. The docent program, open to ages 18 and up, provides a comprehensive training course where individual opportunities are explored and developed. GLAZA volunteers, numbering nearly 600 people, contributed more than 58,000 hours last year to the Zoo, with duties as varied as the men and women performing them. Some GLAZA volunteers, who range in age from 16 to 93, have provided over 47 years of service. No previous experience is necessary.
“The docent program is for people with an interest in wildlife, a love of learning and the desire to make a difference in the world,” says Docent Chair Paulette Heath. “Docents provide invaluable support for the L.A. Zoo. They give a voice to the conservation mission of the Zoo as they share animal information and help visitors of all ages understand how important the Zoo’s work is to wild animal populations around the world.
Docents complete a 23-week training program offered at the Zoo each fall in conjunction with UCLA Extension. Classes, which run from October to April, meet once a week on Wednesdays or Saturdays, from 9:30 am to 4 pm, and focus on taxonomy of both the plants and animals at the Zoo as well as ecology, conservation and the role of zoos in wildlife preservation. Docents must be high school graduates or equivalent and 18 years or older when applying and be able to commit 100 hours per year for a minimum of two years. Applications are accepted through August 19, 2017, and can be completed on-line at http://www.lazoo.org/support/v