High School Students engaging in community service projects earn opportunities for high school credit, Bright Futures Scholarships, and Graduation Recognition. Students in Polk County provide over 100,000 hours of service to Lakeland communities every year through the Community Service Program. The Community Service Coordinator at KHS coordinates the application process and approves the hours and locations where students can serve. There are three parts of the Community Service Program. Any hour volunteered may count for any one or all three parts of the program. Service hours will be indicated on student’s permanent record
- The Florida Bright Futures Program
The Florida Academic Scholar Award requires at least 100 hours of community service. The Florida Medallion Scholar requires at least 75 hours of community service. The Florida Gold Seal Scholar requires at least 30 hours of community service. Students must complete the Community Service Plan that describes the social problem being served, the plan for personal involvement and a final evaluation of the volunteer experience.
- High School Credit
High school students may receive one-half credit (for each 75 hours served) in a voluntary public service elective course (05003700) or in a voluntary school/community service course (21043300). A maximum of one credit can be earned.
Seniors will receive the highest award they earned.
10 to 49 hours earns a Certificate
50+ earns a Certificate with an embossed seal
One Time Awards
100 hours earns a Silver Pin
250+ hours earns a Medallion and Silver Cord
1000+ hours earns an Exceeding Expectations Medallion
For more information or to return your service hour record, you may contact Doug Harwell in the Dean’s Office.
- Before serving hours, students should review the Student Progression Plan and register by completing the Student Application and Parent Approval Form and submitting it to our Community Service Coordinator.
- Guidance counselors will direct students seeking credit or participating in the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program for the Academic Scholars’ Award Program.
- Application must be made before March 1 of the student’s senior year.
- Students must also have a Record of Volunteer Service Hours Form. This is to be filled out by the student and signed by the coordinator and organization where the student volunteers.
- The Community Service Coordinator has authority to verify or deny hours served.
- Code of Conduct and School Board rules apply while the student is performing community service hours.
The principal of the school has the authority to dismiss a student from the Community Service Program.
The Polk County School Board has an outstanding volunteer program, with over one million service hours donated by more than 30,000 volunteers each year.
The security of our students is a primary concern. Volunteers pay a one-time, non refundable fee of $25.00 to cover the cost of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement background check. Payment is made by certified check or money order payable to the Polk County School Board and submitted with a volunteer application at the school site. Volunteer approval is continuous from year to year and applies to all Polk County Schools. Check and make sure you are not already approved.
- Students may serve hours during the summer proceeding the 9th grade year if a student has registered and completed the Student Application and Parent Approval Form and logs their hours on the Record of Volunteer Service Hours Form.
- Service hours earned during regular school hours require prior approval from the Community Service Coordinator.
- Family members may not sign off on hours served.
- Service to individuals must be conducted through and be verified by an eligible agency.
Hours that count:
United Way agencies, nonprofit agencies, Special Olympics, school volunteer programs, Chambers of Commerce, political action, nursing homes, hospitals, museums, libraries, and service club activities that provide benefit to the community.
Hours that cannot be counted:
Regular meeting times for extra-curricular activities and clubs, Saturday School or any detention/work detail, court ordered service, time served in the Executive Leadership Program and Exploratory Teaching Program, church activity related to worship and evangelization, school music or dramatic productions when used for credit, service performed for pay, service related to armed services recruitment requirements, babysitting, for profit organizations, veterinarian and physician’s offices.