Hockaday Forms Partnerships Across Dallas

In an attempt to better integrate students into community service projects, Hockaday has broadened its existing partnerships to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden at the Dallas Arboretum and created a partnership with the Dallas Holocaust Museum-Center for Education and Tolerance. These partnerships will allow Upper School students to intern at these designated organizations.

Director of Service Learning Laura Day decided to take advantage of Hockaday’s already-established relationships with the Perot Museum and the Children’s Garden that would let “students expand their learning environment while still helping the community,” she said.

Just this past year, Day established a partnership with the Holocaust Museum-Center for Education and Tolerance so that girls could experience a “sense of human rights and injustice,” which is also one of the points highlighted by the museum.

Upper School student interns will not be paid, but the hours they contribute will count towards their community service hours.

Students will leave school during free periods on a weekly basis and will guide visitors, teaching them about different aspects of the museums.

Day has already offered many students slots in volunteering at these organizations. “I hope the girls take advantage of this opportunity that not many high schools give,” she said.


Holocaust Museum – Center for Education and Tolerance

Pam Barnes, the museum’s Volunteer Coordinator and Director of Programing, explained that students will first start at the front desk, where they will learn basic greeting skills. Girls will also learn to use a variety of materials that the museum provides them to give demonstrations and tours through the main exhibit, which focuses on experiencing a single day in the Holocaust.

Barnes’s goal for Hockaday students is to develop many life skills such as public speaking,

independent learning and taking notes.

Also, Barnes encouraged students “to include events that interest them if it is not specifically in the exhibit,” she said. “We like the whole concept of an individual.”


Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden at the Dallas Arboretum

The Children’s Garden, which opened on Sept. 21, is an outdoor gallery where kids can learn about the world through interactive and hands-on activities. The plan for the garden sprouted 10 years ago, but the construction did not begin until 15 months ago. The gallery is now finished and open to visitors.

Audrey Kwik, the garden’s program manager, said that Hockaday girls will work alongside the staff in different galleries. Each student will be trained on a specific gallery to guide and assist students and teachers when groups are visiting the museum.

There are 12 different learning galleries that allow one to get the sense of the world and its cycles.

At each of these galleries, Hockaday students will learn about each object and how it pertains to the specific gallery. With this knowledge, they will be there to encourage children to learn about the exhibits and to show them how activities in the galleries work.

Kwik was worried about having kids run through the galleries without understanding the full concept of each piece. For example, she said that the living cycle gallery was “one of the galleries the kids ran through. So, this would be a great gallery for teaching all about the life cycle and the four seasons.”

Because each gallery is so interactive and hands-on, it will be important for the Children’s Garden to have girls standing at each of the stations helping the kids understand each gallery and how it works.


Perot Museum of Nature and Science

At the Perot Science Museum, Hockaday students will pick the science they would prefer to teach. Once the student chooses, she will be in charge of educating visitors from other schools on that particular field.

First, the volunteers from Hockaday will go through a volunteer orientation that all museum volunteers sit through.

“This will be important for the students because you never know what people are going to ask you, and if you have a badge on you, you represent the museum,”  the museum’s programming director Lucy Hale said.

After orientation, volunteers will begin working alongside the museum’s educators. They will do hands-on activities throughout the museum, and they may participate in research projects with the museum.

Hale’s hope is that “the volunteers will get an understanding what kind of resource this is as volunteers and realize how important it is as a resource for the community and in science.”

Hale’s hope is that “the volunteers will get an understanding what kind of resource this is as volunteers and realize how important it is as a resource for the community and in science.”

Times available for students to work are:

• Holocaust Museum 9:30 a.m. -1:45 p.m. (anytime frame in between)

• Perot Museum an hour to an hour and a half on Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m.-2:05 p.m.

• Children’s Garden 10 a.m.-noon or 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. on Thursdays.

-Gretchen O’Brien