Volunteer Community Service

 

All students graduating from CIAS must complete at least 75 hours of Volunteer Community Service during Grades 9-12. This includes, but is not limited to, rendering services for which you are not remunerated (paid). During these activities, students are encouraged to develop and practice skills for becoming better citizens and for developing more interest in serving the Lord by serving their fellow human beings and animals and preserving this wonderful world and environment that He has entrusted to us! Community service projects allow youth to become a part of a team effort to help others and impact their local community, country and world. Local community service projects could include, but are not limited to the following:

 

Documentation of community service requires a documentation and evaluation form. All community service activity hours must be verified; therefore, a signature and a viable phone number must be provided for each service supervisor or mentor.

 

Here are some more ideas about Volunteer Community Service:

http://www.stateofflorida.com/articles/community-service.aspx

 

 

 

 

FAQ ABOUT VOLUNTEER COMMUNITY SERVICE
 

1) Community Service must be approved PRIOR to starting the service

TRUE
Any student wishing to complete their volunteer hours for credit and for the Bright Futures Scholarship Program should have them approved by CIAS administration prior to beginning any volunteer service.

 
2) Community Service should be served with a NON-PROFIT organization

FALSE
This is a CIAS policy. As much as possible, VCS needs to be completed and/or served at a non-profit organization, but it is not a requirement. Volunteering for a business and receiving no pay is NOT allowed, however. Non-profit organizations includes, but is not limited to, schools, churches, YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, libraries, Habitat for Humanity, county and state parks, environmental preservation groups, community theatres, pet shelters, etc.


Church OUTREACH activities are also acceptable. Examples are Food Pantries, Soup Kitchens, Summer Camps for children, VBS, After-School/Day Care, Mission Trips (domestic & foreign), etc. Other VCS activities that can be completed at churches include, but is not limited to, altar service, choir members, teaching Sunday School, nursery care, running slide shows, running sound or TV camera, and playing music for services.

 
3) Community Service is a requirement for graduation

TRUE
Community Service IS a requirement for graduation from CIAS. Most college and scholarship applications ask for information about extra-curricular activities AND community service. CIAS requires 75 hours of Volunteer Community Service to be completed during the four years of high school.

4) Community Service is required to receive ANY Bright Futures Scholarship

TRUE
Service hours can be performed at any time during high school but the number of required hours must be completed by the date of high school graduation. A minimum of 75 hours are required for the FMS award, and a minimum of 100 hours are required for the FAS award. The following guidelines are provided below for service hours:

• Service hours may not benefit the student financially or materially, or be service to family members (parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and spouses, including all step relations).

• The agencies where the service hours were earned must provide documentation on the agency’s letterhead of the number of hours and dates of service.

• Service hours documentation must be submitted to the home education office at the local school district where you reside. The district will certify service hours to FDOE online after the FFAA is submitted during the student’s senior year. NOTE: The required number of service hours is subject to change each year by the Florida Legislature.

 

Official info from FBFS is posted here:

http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/ssfad/PDF/BFHandbookChapter1.pdf

The info for homeschooled students is here:

http://www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org/ssfad/PDF/BFHomeEdGuide.pdf​

 
5) The 75 service hours must be completed in one (1) school year
FALSE
Students have until their graduation date to complete the VCS hours and turn them in for credit. They may begin working on their hours during the summer before 9th grade.

 
6) All community service must be served at one NON-PROFIT organization

FALSE
The community service paperwork requires that a student must identify where they are going to volunteer by stating the social problem or concern they are going to address. Most students volunteer at one NON-PROFIT organization, but students may volunteer at more than one place. Students may add a new volunteer place or change the place where they are going to volunteer on their community service paperwork any time.

7) Rules for Volunteer Community Service are the same for all students in Florida

FALSE
Each public school district in the state of Florida, as well as each private school, sets the guidelines and rules for fulfilling the VCS hours for their own students. What one school or school district allows to count for VCS, another school/school district may not. The local school districts also set the guidelines for homeschool students.

 

This is why CIAS students needs to verify with school admin to make sure that their chosen place of VCS will count for Florida Bright Futures Scholarship VCS tallies, or just towards their general/total VCS tallies. For instance, here is Hillsborough County's VCS Guidelines: 

http://www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/doc/349/commservice-resource