January 22, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 62  

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These kids are actually alright

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

Dave Picard/Gazette
GIVING CHILDREN THE GIFT OF WONDER AND AWE. A space centre exhibit is the lastest offering by the Children’s Museum.

Kids. There are many who consider kids to be smelly, noisy, pains in the neck, but some just think they are fine and dandy, and members of this rare, brave breed can often be found volunteering at the London Regional Children’s Museum.

“There’s a lot of student [volunteers]; our main demographic is students,” explains Nicole Kovacz, volunteer co-ordinator for the Museum, which is located down the street from campus on Wharncliffe Rd.

According to Kovacz, a lot of students who are interested in teaching after they graduate volunteer with kids, usually because they need volunteer experience for their teacher’s college applications.

“We also get a lot of business students,” she adds, noting volunteers are taken on for the administrative, marketing, human resource and financial sides of the Museum.

Right now there are about 140 volunteers working for the Children’s Museum and more than half the volunteers run around with the little children who flock to the museum, while the other half toil in the offices.

However lame volunteering may seem to many students, Kovacz points out that there are advantages to volunteering at the Children’s Museum. “You get to work with a worthy cause and give something back to the community.”

She adds that most volunteers can hope to gain skills for a profession they may be considering in the future, practical experience often neglected in the classroom and great references from staff.

Some volunteers can aspire to becoming a paid employee, because the museum advertises job openings internally. Kovacz explains that all volunteers receive coveted discounts for entry into the Children’s Museum.

“It’s a real world experience. It’s not easy getting a job, and volunteering to create a network really helps,” Kovacz says.

The London Regional Children’s Museum is located at 21 Wharncliffe Rd. S. and can be reached at 434-5726.



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