As a parent of a high school sophomore, I am reminded how much volunteering will shape my child and will look favorably on her college applications. I should also preface this story with that my daughter is wild about anything animal related or nature related. With all of these factors in mind, she wants to volunteer where she can make a difference and also learn from the experiences.
The Dallas Zoo Opened my Eyes
Fortunately for my daughter, I work in the field of science education. Just last week I received an email from the Dallas Zoo and Children’s Aquarium Education Department. Curious, I open the email to find information for their youth programs in the coming year. While the zoo offers fabulous summer camps, I was not aware of the depth of the volunteer programs. Starting at age eleven, children can volunteer at both the Dallas Zoo and the Children’s Aquarium! Volunteering at both the zoo and the aquarium, can be a variety of tasks including behind the scenes assisting with meal preparation to becoming an exhibit guide. The programs are multi-year and can build experience as well as a sense of responsibility for the child.
The Key to Finding Their Passion
The key is to find something your child loves and allow the volunteering to foster the love, curiosity, knowledge and responsibility in the field. The skills and knowledge learned through volunteering will be the best 21st Century classroom beyond the walls of their school. Through volunteering, your child will learn to work with others collaboratively, communicate effectively, and learn to be a critical thinker and problem solver.
In researching additional volunteer opportunities for youth in Dallas-Ft. Worth, I found that there are many in the area of science.
Below is information about programs in Dallas.
Click the links for information on how to register your child:
- Dallas Zoo and Children’s Aquarium
- The Perot Museum Discovery Corps
- Arlington Archosaur Dig
- Heard Museum in McKinney
- Dallas Arboretum
- Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch
- In-Sync Exotics, Inc.
- Texas Discovery Gardens
- Keep Carrollton Beautiful
- Keep Farmers Branch Beautiful
Written by Lisa Bates, Middle School Science Specialist