Student Docent Program

The Student Docent Program is a partnership between PAFA and select schools in which students grades 7–12 are trained to become tour guides for their classmates during a museum visit. Over the course of several weeks, Student Docents hone their observation, critical thinking, leadership, and presentations skills while learning inquiry-based tour strategies.

Any student can elect to be a Student Docent. They do not have to have an interest in art, public speaking, or leadership. The only requirement is students are able to attend training sessions.

Participating schools receive:

  • Free training for Student Docents and waived admission fees for the class tour
  • Certificates of Achievement for all participating student docents
  • Free Family-level museum memberships to PAFA for all participating Student Docents
  • Subsidized bus transportation 

For more information, contact program coordinator Kristina Murray at (215) 391-4187 or email using the form below.


IMLS logoThe Teen LEAD Program is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, along with grants from the 1830 Family Foundation, the Amaranth Foundation, the Connelly Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, and The Snider Foundation.

Program Requirements & Application

A school must provide 6-10 students to train to be Student Docents.

  • Students Docents must be made aware of the commitment ahead of time.
  • Student Docent’s parents/guardians must complete a consent form prior to the start of training.
  • The tour must consist of a minimum of 20 students. Larger tours sizes are encouraged.
  • Subsidized bus transportation is available.

To apply, fill out the form below and submit to Kristina Murray (kmurray@pafa.org).

2019-2020 Student Docent Program Application

Docent Training Overview

Student docents will spend one afternoon a week for up to eight weeks at the museum to participate in the training sessions. These sessions can begin as early as September and end as late as May. Student docent training is 1.5 hours, and typically runs from 3:30 until 5:00 PM. Students are responsible for getting themselves to and from PAFA for the training sessions.

Student Docents work in pairs and lead groups of 6-10 classmates around the museum on their tours. Group sizes are kept small in order to foster confidence and conversation. Each tour group is shadowed by a museum staff member and a teacher or chaperone from the participating school.

Previous Program Partners

  • Belmont Charter High School
  • Burlington County Institute of Technology
  • Central High School                
  • Friends Select Center City
  • J.W. Hallahan School for Girls
  • Mercy Vocational High School
  • Philadelphia Virtual Academy
  • Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
  • Science Leadership Academy Beeber
  • Snider Hockey Foundation
  • The Philadelphia School

Contact Us

PAFA offers programs for artists and art lovers of all ages and skill levels who want to learn about and make art.