The Junior Keeper Program is designed to give children too young to participate in our Adult Volunteer Program a chance to learn and work at PHS. Each day is three hours long and does have a specific outline of activities & expectations.
After check-in, the junior keepers & their counselor/leader will gather together, review the rules and behavior expectations, then give an overview of the day's activities. For example, if it is a day of Tortoise & Turtle work, they will discuss the differences between turtles & tortoises, how to tell them apart, and important rules to know, like do not touch their face. After learning about the animals, their care needs, and other details for a brief time, the junior keepers will then begin their work. At the conclusion of the animal care activities ("work"), they will gather again for a discussion. This quick discussion will help make sure the participants understand the value of their efforts and why it truly matters. It is also a chance for the junior keepers to ask questions about the animals, why certain procedures were or were not done, etc.
While this is a community service opportunity, it is also a service learning opportunity. We believe that the participants should get more than just required hours of community service for their school or organization - we believe that they should be given the opportunity to learn and grow from the experience.
The age range for this is 9 - 15 years old. The students always meet with our Volunteer Manager from 9 AM - 12 PM on the scheduled Junior Keeper Days.