Advanced middle school art students from Odom Academy, the Beaumont Independent School District arts magnet, make 10 to 12 visits per school year to the Art Museum of Southeast Texas to take part in this program. At AMSET, Odom Junior Docents (OJDs) learn about museum practices and interact with exhibits and artists. Through a series of multifaceted presentations, students learn how to give tours at the museum.
The Junior Docents also create their own artwork, which is displayed each spring in AMSET's Quinn Lecture Hall.
The culmination of the program is an intensive, two-day round of guided tours for all Odom Academy sixth-graders (approximately 300 12 year-olds). OJDs organize and guide tours through all the current exhibitions on view and also through the exhibit of their own artwork. At a reception for their exhibit, students receive a recognition gift and earn a final grade based on tour evaluations completed by teachers and family after each OJD given tour.
This program fosters an understanding of the need for volunteers within our community. Many OJDs go on to volunteer at Family Arts Days and other AMSET events. OJDs earn extra credit and AMSET awards through volunteership for the year they are Junior Docents.
In the video below, OJDs themselves further describe the program.