Education volunteers provide guests and groups inside and outside the Zoo with information and experiences concerning animals and conservation. Education volunteers work closely with Elmwood Park Zoo’s Education Department to conduct presentations, programs, and special events.
Education volunteers typically participate in the following activities:
Preparation of educational materials
Program research and support
Live animal shows
Staffing the Exploration Zone
Candidates must be 18 years or older and have a love for animals and an enthusiasm for teaching. Education volunteers are required to commit to a minimum of one year of service. Before their service may begin, education volunteers must attend a two-day training and orientation class that covers a wide range of topics, including the natural history of animals, education procedures, guest relations, and animal handling.
Training and orientation classes take place in January and May over the course of two consecutive Saturdays. Continuing education classes are offered periodically throughout the year for those who wish to acquire the special skills that will allow them to perform public animal shows, lead guided tours, and prepare animal diets.
Junior Education Volunteers
The Junior Education Volunteer program is a leadership and career development program for young people, ages 14 to 17, who are interested in pursuing careers in animal husbandry, veterinary science, zoological management, education, or other related field.
Junior education volunteers participate in many of the same activities available in the regular program. During the summer months, junior education volunteers are also called upon to assist with day camps, pony rides, and seasonal animal exhibits.
Junior education volunteers are required to attend the two-day training and orientation class. Continuing education classes are also open to those who wish to acquire the special skills that will allow them to perform public animal shows, lead guided tours, and prepare animal diets.
Due to the overwhelming popularity of the Junior Education Volunteer program, membership is currently limited to 25 people. Applications are accepted and interviews are conducted from January to March (for the summer season) and from September to December (for the winter season).
Education volunteers and junior education volunteers make a substantial commitment to the Zoo, and they receive a number of exclusive benefits in return:
20% discount in the Nature Shop, Cougar Café, and Pertucci's Ice Cream Parlor
50% off an individual Zoo membership or equal dollar amount discount from a
Invitation to the annual Volunteer Banquet
Invitation to attend annual Volunteer Field Trip to another major zoo
Invitation for junior education volunteers to attend annual overnight campout
at the Zoo
Opportunity to represent Elmwood Park Zoo at the National AZAD (Association
of Zoo and Aquarium Docents) Convention