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This morning, Polk County Public Schools and the Ledger Media Group hosted the 36th Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards. Students, faculty, staff and guests gathered at the Nora Mayo Hall in Winter Haven to honor school-nominated elementary and secondary level volunteers who provide exceptional service to students and teachers.
This year’s Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year Award is shared by Bartow High International Baccalaureate students Bianca Mulaney and Joe Bacon. The two students volunteered at Blake Academy this year. They were recognized for their initiative, commitment and creativity. Bianca and Joe started an after-school mentoring project to assist 2nd and 3rd graders struggling to learn to read.
There are three categories of winners, youth (21 and younger), adult (22-59) and senior (60+). A total of six district awards are given to honor the volunteers who provide outstanding assistance in classrooms, mentor, tutor, facilitate fund raising activities or chaperone.
More than 26,000 volunteers contributed to the more than 792,000 volunteer hours served throughout the 2011-2012 academic school year.
Other Volunteer of the Year Award winners included:
Outstanding Adult Volunteer of the Year
Winner: Darcey Martin
School Represented: Chain of Lakes Elementary
Winner: Arvilla Stokes
School Represented: West Area Adult
Outstanding Senior Volunteer of the Year
Winner: JoEllen Brogdon
School Represented: Gibbons Street Elementary
Winner: Sheldon Katsoff
School Represented: Mulberry Middle and Mulberry High