To be meaningful, community service projects must address a real need or problem found within the school or community. Students must be given the opportunity to select a project that reflects both the needs of the community and their personal interests and skills. In addition, quality community service projects require an on-going commitment on the part of students. Hastily planned, short-term projects do little to foster the purpose of community service: to provide service to the community and personal growth opportunities for students. The following criteria should be considered when a student selects a community service project:

  • The project addresses a real community need or problem.
  • The project provides the student with the opportunity to provide meaningful and vital community service.
  • The project allows the student to gain a greater understanding of the community need on which they are working.
  • The project reflects the student’s interests, talents, and abilities. The project provides the student with the opportunity to grow personally and academically.
  • The project provides the opportunity for continuity of service and/or participation during the student’s school experience.

The organizations and agencies listed below typically welcome volunteers. Agencies must be a registered non-profit agency. This list should help students generate ideas for community service projects.

  • United Way agencies/charities
  • City/County Governments
  • School Libraries
  • Civic organizations
  • Parks and Recreation Centers
  • Political Organizations
  • Convalescent homes/hospices/hospitals
  • Cultural centers/museums
  • Religious Organizations (excluding personal enrichment activities)

Prior to beginning a community service project, students should contact their school counselor to insure their choice meets the appropriate guidelines listed above. However, volunteering within a for-profit business or organization does not meet the acceptable community service guidelines and will not be accepted. The following list includes examples of unacceptable places to do community service projects.

  • Professional office
  • Industrial firms
  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Motels/hotels
  • Realtors
  • Barber/beauty shops
  • Gas stations

Meeting the Requirements for Credit and Bright Futures

A minimum of 75 hours of community service is required to receive ½ credit if a student desires to earn credit. A maximum of 1 credit will be granted although a student may volunteer more than 150 hours of service. The Florida Bright Futures Program requires: 100 hours of community service to qualify for the Florida Academic Scholar Award, 75 hours for Florida Medallion Award, and 30 hours for the Florida Gold Seal Award.