CABRILLO MARINE AQUARIUM

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					CABRILLO MARINE AQUARIUM SUMMER DOCENT PROGRAM PROJECT/PROGRAM BRIEF SUMMARY Funds are requested to implement the 2001 Summer Junior and Senior high Student Docent programs, which will train and supervise 120 youth in providing educational tours of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium exhibits for approximately 10,000 schoolchildren and youth groups during July and August, 2001. STATEMENT OF NEEDS A year-round need exists for programs that bring schoolchildren of greater Los Angeles directly into contact with the natural and cultural resources of their coastal environment. In the summer, camps and youth groups add to the schools seeking such experiences. At the same time, middle school and older students seek ways to fill their vacation time with interesting and socially rewarding experiences. Parents and society at large also seek opportunities for teenagers to use their spare time in positive ways and gain a sense of responsibility and self-esteem. With its location, facilities, and outstanding record of educational services, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is an ideal facility for providing programs emphasizing the natural marine environment of southern California and the relationships of people with their ocean environment. During the regular school year, trained adult volunteers provide tours of the living and interpretive exhibits of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium for large numbers of schoolchildren, but in the summer, fewer adult volunteers are available, while more youth seek interesting ways to fill their vacation time. OBJECTIVES Cabrillo Marine Aquarium proposes to continue in 2001 an outstanding summer program providing intensive marine biology education, social/educational activities, and teaching experience for middle school and high school students. The students will learn basics of southern California marine life and how to give tours, and then provide educational tours for groups of schoolchildren, summer camps, and youth groups visiting the Aquarium during the months of July and August. The junior docents and schoolchildren alike are given a chance to observe closely our southern California marine environment with its diverse habitats, animals, and plants, and how important it is for everyone to do their part in protecting that environment. Approximately 60 junior high (middle school) and 60 senior high school students will participate during summer 2001. After training, they will tour up to 250 children per morning through Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s exhibits. Approximately 10,000 children and adults from schools, day camps, and other youth programs throughout the greater Los Angeles area will benefit from their tours, and the junior docents will provide over 6600 hours of service to Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, earning volunteer credits for their school records and resumes. By participating in this program, students will develop a sense of leadership, teamwork, and self-confidence. This is accomplished by learning diplomacy, manners and public speaking skills. By learning to work with the general public, the students learn how to better express themselves, develop decision-making skills, and thereby develop strong self-esteem,. They are exposed to positive role models in the form of the staff of Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and various adult volunteers and in turn become positive role models for the students with whom they tour. They learn that teamwork is fun, rewarding, and essential to many of life’s goals. METHODS

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Junior high docents will tour during July and senior high docents during August. About 60 middle school students will be recruited in the spring through written application and interviews. Late in June they will complete an intensive 30-hour training period, interspersing marine biology information with touring technique activities and team-building exercises. After training, junior high docents tour in pairs, leading groups of up to 15 children and adults each on an hour’s tour of the aquarium for a maximum of two hours a day, two mornings per week. Senior high docents will be recruited and trained in July and tour individually for up to two mornings per week each during August. After the initial intensive training, docents receive short enrichments each time they come to tour, on topics such as marine bird identification, searching for fossils, and working with the disabled. Each Monday, a field trip or other activity is held for the entire docent group, including trips to Catalina Island and Sea World and a nature walk/beach party at Cabrillo Beach. A graduation celebration concludes each group’s five-week program. Junior high docents host a potluck dinner for their families, giving a special tour of the aquarium to their guests. After the meal, the junior high docents provide entertainment in the form of skits. Senior high docents celebrate their graduation with a party at the Aquarium for program participants only. EVALUATION Each day at work, the docents participate in a post-tour meeting where problems and successes are discussed with the staff. Solutions and adjustments are reinforced immediately by their peers. Second, many docents receive letters and drawings, some of which are displayed in our Children’s Corner exhibit, from teachers and students that they toured. Third, a survey is sent to all junior docents asking them to evaluate their summer docent experience, including overall satisfaction with the program, whether or not they would participate again, and if they would recommend others to the program. BUDGET (See attached) The City of Los Angeles provides annual salaries for the Program Director and clerical staff that schedule school tours. Other salary and program expenses must be raised by Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. Docent fees cover many of the materials, refreshments and field trip expenses. This year, docent fees will be raised to help cover increases in field trip costs. The John M. Olguin Junior Docent Endowment fund provides scholarships for participants with financial need. All other salary costs, including the Volunteer Coordinator and part-time assistants who help train, supervise, and coordinate the program, must be covered by grants and sponsorships.

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