HOUSTON, TX (June 8, 2005) – Teaching the dangers of prejudice, intolerance and hate against the backdrop of the Holocaust would be an almost impossible task without the assistance of volunteers who help educate the thousands of visitors to Holocaust Museum Houston each year.
And with the Museum’s attendance growing, more and more volunteers are needed to help guide students and the general public through the Museum, teach about its lessons, explain its exhibits and answer questions about the Holocaust.
During the school year, more than 40,000 school-age children will tour the museum. Tours are conducted every school day, and as many as three or four schools may be represented on any day. Over a full year, almost 100,000 people from around the world visit the facility.
In preparation for next fall’s busy tour schedule, Holocaust Museum Houston is now accepting applications for tour guides, commonly called docents, to help with those tasks. Volunteers will be trained in the history of the Holocaust and taught to give tours during six weeks of classes Aug. 23 through Sept. 29. Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon and are held at Holocaust Museum Houston Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., in Houston’s Museum District.
“Volunteers need only a desire to learn, an interest in public speaking and a commitment to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust,” said Suzanne Sutherland, the Museum’s director of visitor and volunteer services.
“Visiting Holocaust Museum Houston is an adventure in learning for many students. Often, a visit will be the first time for a student to come face to face with the dangers of racial prejudice or religious intolerance. Our docents are trained to respond to their questions regarding the history of intolerance and current attitudes today. They perform an invaluable service for the Museum and the community,” said Sutherland.
Docents must commit to giving tours for a one-year period. Weekday docents generally give one two-hour tour per week, while weekend volunteers typically give one tour every other week.
For more information on becoming a docent, contact Sutherland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-942-8000, ext. 102. Applications must be received by Aug. 15, 2005.
The Museum also has openings for front desk volunteers, assistants in the Museum library and volunteers to assist with administrative duties.
Front desk volunteers are trained to manage the Museum bookstore and greet patrons. Those volunteers work in shifts from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Weekend shifts are available from noon to 2:30 p.m. and from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Training for front-desk volunteers is done individually and can be completed in about two hours.
Holocaust Museum Houston promotes awareness and educates the public of the dangers of prejudice, hatred and violence against the backdrop of the Holocaust by fostering remembrance, understanding and education. Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston's Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004.
For more information about Holocaust Museum Houston, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.