Supreme Court Volunteers Enhance Students’ Lives
Thousands of students visit the Ohio Supreme Court’s Visitor Education Center each year, and it’s volunteers like Dan Bennington who help bring the court to life.
“I like the interaction with the kids, and when they are interacting with you then you know they are getting some part of what you are trying to impart because we’re not just showing off the building. We’re trying to have them understand how the legal system works and how cases get resolved and things like that,” Bennington said.
Bennington started volunteering as a tour guide a year and a half ago after he saw the center needed help. He was a city attorney in Delaware and was a few months shy of retiring.
“It allowed me to stay in the legal area in a way,” Bennington said.
While Bennington is one of more than a dozen volunteers who give tours at the Supreme Court, Volunteer Coordinator Julie Manning said more assistance is needed. She said the center needs several more volunteer guides for the upcoming spring schedule, but said they don’t have to be retired attorneys like Bennington.
“We need people that are excited about teaching young people. It helps us build a better program to have their experience,” Manning said.
Manning said volunteers should like public speaking, working with kids, and have a general knowledge of the court system.
“The enthusiasm of a volunteer is contagious and when you have somebody who’s really excited to be here talking to young people, you can just feel it in a group and they have a really good time with our guides,” Manning said.
Bennington said he always has a fun time giving civic education tours.
“It’s just very satisfying to have kids see the court and have an understanding of what goes on and maybe impart a little of that to them and the appreciation that I have for the law having been a lawyer for almost 40 years, I hope they have a better understanding of the law and how important it is,” Bennington said.
Call Julie Manning at 614.387.9223 or e-mail her at Julie.Manning@sc.ohio.gov to volunteer.