Keyword for this page: Volunteer


Polk County Public Schools has an outstanding volunteer program. Investing in our schools helps students succeed. To learn more, contact the Department of Public Relations & Strategic Partnerships at (863) 534-0636.

2015 Volunteer of the Year Nominations

2015 Volunteer of the Year Memo
2015 Volunteer of the Year Nomination Form

Becoming a Volunteer

The security of our students is a primary concern. Volunteers pay a 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. Check with your school and make sure you are not already approved.

Volunteer Applications

Volunteer Handbook

School Board employees can volunteer too!

How You Can Help!

The Polk Education Foundation has several ways for an individual to help with the many programs they offer. Here is a list of some of the ways you can help.

  • Donate To: Programs, Events, Scholarships
  • Volunteer: AmeriCorps Polk Reads or Take Stock In Children
  • Support through Sponsorship

Great American Teach-In

On Wednesday, November 19th, community members will visit schools across the District to share how school helped them achieve success, as Polk County Public Schools celebrates the Great American Teach-In. The annual event is held nationwide each year to celebrate American Education Week. To view a flyer about the Great American Teach-In, click here.


The mentor program brings together positive role models from the community and students who can benefit from one-on-one attention. Students are selected by teachers and guidance counselors. Parents sign a permission form for participation in the program. Students and mentors meet, usually once a week, to work together to improve grades, set goals for improved attendance and behavior or focus on career interests.

Click here for more information.

Take Stock In Children

Take Stock in Children is an award-winning program that provides scholarships, mentors, and hope for a better future to Florida's most deserving low-income, at-risk children. A public-private partnership, this school-based mentoring organization has positively affected the lives of more than 11,000 children since 1995

Click here for more information.

AmeriCorps Polk Reads

AmeriCorps Polk Reads is a grant-funded reading tutoring program in Polk County, Florida. Members provide reading tutoring to more than 425 K-3 students each year while working collaboratively with community agencies to strengthen community ties.

Click here for more information.

2014 Outstanding School Volunteer of the Year Awards Program

2014 Inductees

Cheyenne PrenticeOutstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year
Elementary level
Cheyenne Prentice
Wahneta Elementary

Cheyenne has been a loyal volunteer at Wahneta Elementary this school year, in addition to taking college courses, participating in school activities and maintaining a part-time job. She helps kindergarten teachers with grading papers and organizing classroom space. She also spends time tutoring students and helping with their reading comprehension. Fluent in Spanish, Cheyenne also assists when messages to and from students’ homes need translating. The staff at Wahneta Elementary is very appreciative of Cheyenne’s willingness to serve her community.

Kayleigh MitchellOutstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year
Elementary level
Kayleigh Mitchell
Padgett Elementary

A former Padgett Elementary student, Kayleigh has since returned to serve. Taking on numerous roles at the school, she has assisted teachers in classrooms, tutored students and helped with the Positive Behavior Support (PBS) program. Kayleigh looks forward to the times she is called to volunteer and enjoys working with students and contributing to the school. To quote a Padgett Elementary teacher, “It doesn’t matter what it is, if Kayleigh has time to do it, she’ll get it done to perfection.”

Jim VirgilioOutstanding Senior Volunteer of the Year
Elementary level
Jim Virgilio
Lincoln Avenue Academy

Jim Virgilio selflessly volunteers daily on campus at Lincoln Avenue Academy. From greeting families in the car line to carrying a teacher’s bag, he is in tune with the needs of students and staff. Jim primarily supports the efforts of the custodial and grounds crew. His enthusiasm, commitment and contribution is appreciated and valued by the entire Lincoln family. Students, parents and staff members have all commented on his work ethic. Jim goes above and beyond making the school campus shine beautifully.

Susan LynchOutstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year
Secondary level
Susan Lynch
Southwest Middle

Susan never stops thinking of ways to support and improve the band program at Southwest Middle. She is always the first parent to arrive and the last to leave. She has served in almost every position on the parent board including Secretary, Volunteer Coordinator, Vice President and President. She plans the annual awards banquet and oversees building the Christmas parade float each year. Susan is the epitome of an involved parent who cares not only about her own child, but each and every child that she encounters.

Stephen AbneyOutstanding Senior Volunteer of the Year
Secondary level
Stephen Abney
East Area Adult

Upon moving to Polk County from Iowa, Stephen and his wife searched for a place where they could use their educational background to make a difference. East Area Adult School was the perfect fit. Stephen works with struggling students as they prepare to take the GED exam. He builds a rapport, making math concepts come to life so that it is easier for the students to understand. Stephen’s positive attitude and willingness to do anything that is asked of him has made him a great addition to the volunteer pool on campus.

The Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Awards Program is sponsored by The Ledger and MIDFLORIDA Credit Union..

For more information, contact the Department of Public Relations & Strategic Partnerships