Ruby Readers

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Blank Park Zoo

  • 5 people are interested

Ruby Readers will read stories monthly for the Ruby the Red Panda story time hour. Story time includes reading out loud age appropriate books, rhymes and songs related to Blank Park Zoo.

Volunteers should be very comfortable reading out loud to children under 5 years old. If the volunteer is a trained animal presenter they may help with the animal presentation. Otherwise, Education staff will facilitate the education animal presentation.

Specific knowledge and skills needed:

  • Desire to read to children 12 months through 5 years old.
  • Able to perform three key early literacy activities:
    • Reading aloud (possess a clear, expressive reading voice)
    • Singing (no special skill required; chanting okay)
    • Playing (finger plays and action rhymes)
  • Able to entertain a group of young children and their parents/caregivers.
  • Able to bend, crouch, reach, and stand for long periods of time.
  • Able to lift at least 25 lbs.
  • Be able to follow detailed directions and ask questions if clarification needed.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Ability to take initiative.
  • Animal Handling training is a positive but not required.

Type of training provided/needed:

  • Fill out a volunteer application
  • Complete a background check
  • Attend volunteer orientation
  • Attend Ruby Reader volunteer meetings as needed to go over plans for the year

5 More opportunities with Blank Park Zoo

About Blank Park Zoo


7401 SW 9TH ST, DES MOINES, IA 50315, US

Mission Statement

The mission of the Blank Park Zoo is to inspire an appreciation of the natural world through conservation, education, research, and recreation.


The Blank Park Zoo is located in Des Moines, IA and manages 49 acres of land. Of that, 22 acres have been developed into animal exhibits or facilities.

Currently there are 104 different animal species and 1,484 animal specimens cared for at the Blank Park Zoo.

Individuals age 18 and over may volunteer for most special events, visitor services, office support, and grounds without adult supervision. Children ages 13-17 may participate in special events only under the supervision of a parent/guardian. Education volunteers must be 18 or older.

ZooCrew is a special volunteer program for teens 13-17 years old. Applications are accepted until April 27th for the 2012 summer.


We'll work with your schedule.


7401 Sw 9th StDes Moines, IA 50315



  • Environmental Education
  • Storytelling




  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • 1.5 hours a month

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