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CABRILLO MARINE AQUARIUM CABRILLO

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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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