School Docent Training

If you are interested in becoming an Explore Buffalo School Docent, please submit the School Docent Training Application (below), and we will contact you to begin the process! Please see below for some frequently asked questions.

Please note: An informational session will take place on Zoom on Wednesday, August 25 at 1 PM. Email if you’d like to attend the Zoom session.

2021 School Docent Training Program

What do Explore Buffalo school docents do?

  • Our volunteer school docents lead all of Explore Buffalo’s tours for K-12 students. In 2019, more than 4,600 K-12 students participated in an Explore Buffalo tour led by our school docents. With more school groups taking tours every year, there are many opportunities to participate!

Why become a school docent for Explore Buffalo?

  • Being a school docent for Explore Buffalo is FUN! What could be more thrilling than sharing Buffalo’s incredible architecture and history with enthusiastic students in grades K-12?
  • Being a docent is a great way to meet new people within Explore Buffalo or among our many community partners. Explore Buffalo organizes regular social events for all of our docents and volunteers.

Who can become a school docent for Explore Buffalo?

  • Anyone can become a docent! All that is required is an interest in and passion for Buffalo’s history and architecture.
  • You are supplied with thorough background information and reading materials, not a script to be memorized. Our K-12 tours are developed to support New York State Social Studies learning standards. We encourage you to develop your knowledge of Buffalo and your unique voice as a storyteller conveying the growing and changing story of our city.

Tour Training:

  • New docents in the School Docent Training class will learn the Best of Buffalo and Canalside school tours, and be prepared to give those tours for K-12 school groups in the busy school tour months of October, April, May, and June.
  • After learning these tours, school docents are encouraged to learn additional tours.
  • School Docents are asked to give at least five school tours per year, but are encouraged to lead as many tours as they would like.

Class Dates & Time:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings, 9 AM – 12 PM, September 8-24
  • A Graduation Tour will be scheduled upon completion of the course, by October 31.
  • Attendance is essential; applicants who will miss more than one class due to travel commitments, etc. should consider other volunteer opportunities with Explore Buffalo. Due to space constraints for the School Docent Training Program, we are unable to accept docent trainees who will miss multiple classes.


  • Classroom sessions will be held at First Presbyterian Church on Symphony Circle.
  • Field sessions for the specific tour training will take place downtown and at Canalside.

Application Process:

  • Anyone interested in joining the School Docent Training Program should fill out the online Application form available below as the first step of the application process. The application deadline is Monday, August 30. 
  • After reviewing your application, Explore Buffalo will contact you with a phone call to discuss the program and your interests in Buffalo architecture, history, and more.
  • Explore Buffalo will notify all applicants regarding acceptance into the 2021 School Docent Training Program via email. Space is limited in the Docent Training Program.
  • Upon acceptance, a course fee of $75 will be required from participants by Friday, September 3. This course fee covers the cost of printing and other materials for the course, and includes a portable microphone, Explore Buffalo messenger bag, and other tour supplies. Scholarships are available for the Docent Training Program – please contact Education Coordinator Mack Barker at for more information. 

School Docent Training Application

Questions? Please contact Education Coordinator Mack Barker at