Silver Cord

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East High Silver Cord Program

A School Committed to Community Service 

The purpose of the East High Silver Cord Program is to instill the importance of community service within East High students. The Silver Cord Program encourages students to be accountable for investing in their own education and in their community on a regular basis during high school. 

About the Program 

The Silver Cord Program is a service program available to all East High students. To qualify for this award, students must volunteer a minimum of 40 hours of service during their sophomore, junior, and senior year, for a total of at least 120 hours. Students cannot average 40 hours over the three-year span. Forty hours must be completed within each school year. Freshman students may start earning hours during the summer after their Freshman year. These hours will be applied toward the hours needed for their Sophomore year.

Silver Cord of Service Award recipients (who successfully complete the number of hours necessary) will have the distinct honor of wearing a silver cord during their graduation ceremony. 

This is a self-directed program. Students are responsible for turning in all of their hours. Hours MUST be submitted each year to verify that 40 hours of community service have been completed.

Service Matters!
Here’s How Students Can Get Started 

  • The Silver Cord Program begins sophomore year. The summer following freshman year, students can begin earning hours towards their sophomore year quota.
  • Students should consider completing activities or working with organizations that interest them. 
  • Silver Cord hours must meet a clearly defined need for an agency, charity program, church, political agency, social service, group, or community event. If there is an activity in question, you should have it pre-approved by the Silver Cord Advisor at East High. The approved service hours must be completed for “non-pay.” 
  • Students should always contact the organization site to schedule and confirm all service activities prior to volunteering. 
  • Students can print the Silver Cord Award Form or pick one up in the main office during the school year. 
  • Hours in question will be reviewed by the East High administrative team. 


Silver Cord Award Form

Students MUST document all service activities on the Silver Cord Award Form provided by East High. One form should be completed for each site or project and signed by a supervisor at the site. (A note confirming the students’ service signed by the supervisor at the project is also acceptable. It must be attached to the Silver Cord Form).

  1. Fill out the Silver Cord Form.
  2. White at least a PARAGRAPH for each reflection.
  3. Ensure a site supervisor signs the form.
  4. Submit forms to Mrs. Benson at East High School at any time during the year

Students must submit their hours each year, showing that they have served 40 hours of community service. Seniors should submit all Silver Cord forms by May 1st of senior year.

Acceptable Service Activities

Silver Cord hours must be for providing a SERVICE or meeting a clear NEED for a non-profit agency, church, school, park, charity program, fundraiser, or community event. The service should be “above and beyond” one’s usual scope of involvement and could be part of the required service for a program such as Scouts or religious education. While some organizations meet during the school day, only hours outside of school time could be applied to Silver Cord service. For example, Friendship Connections is an East High group that meets, at times, during the school day. Those hours would not be eligible, but any work done outside the normal school day could be applied. If there is any question about whether a specific volunteer experience meets the criteria of “providing a service” or “meeting a need” students should get prior approval from the Silver Cord Committee by submitting a preapproval form. The Silver Cord Review Committee makes final determinations regarding service.

Approved Organizations/Activities

• American Heart Association
• Art Splash
• Beyond the Bell
• Big Brother/Big Sisters
• Blood Bank/Blood Drives
• Camp Goodwill
• EHS Eastop Cafe
• EHS Tutoring Thursday Night Club (McCaslen-Hibbs}
• Food Bank
• Friendship Connections
• Goodwill

• Gospel Mission
• Habitat for Humanity
• Head Start
• Her Health Women’s Center
• Humane Society
• Junior League
• LaunchPAD Children’s Museum
• Local church activities
• Local medical centers
• Mid Steps Services
• Peer Tutoring/Extended
• Ragbrai

• Red Cross
• Ronald McDonald House
• S.T.A.R.S.
• Salvation Army
• Santa House
• Siouxland Dive Team
• Siouxland Soup Kitchen
• Special Olympics
• The Evelyn Larson Theatre
• United Way
• Watchful Eye Foundation

Volunteer Siouxland

For more volunteer opportunities visit

Volunteer Siouxland is an online volunteer center for Siouxland, there are now more than 100 nonprofit organizations. With more than 50 active needs for volunteers on any given day, Volunteer Siouxland is the easiest way for students to find and sign up for volunteer opportunities. Students can track their volunteer hours that are confirmed by the organization. There is also a field in each volunteer profile where students can identify which school they attend, which allows Volunteer Siouxland to provide reports to East High School.

Summer Service

Service hours earned during the summer after the academic year which ends on May 31, may be applied toward EITHER the prior or following school year- this is the student’s choice. (For example, the summer after the sophomore year can apply toward either the sophomore or junior 40-hour requirement or divided between the two as needed).

FRESHMAN should show that they served hours after June pt and complete 40 hours through the end of their Sophomore year. It is recommended that all summer projects be pre-approved in writing by Mr. Dreessen to ensure they are acceptable. Pre-approval forms are available in the East High School office and should be submitted two weeks before final exams. Summer service that complies with the Silver Cord criteria will be accepted even if students were not able to submit pre-approval forms. Students should pick up blank Silver Cord Award forms before the end of the school year in order to document summer service. Students must keep completed forms until they return to school in the fall.


Silver Cord hours CAN NOT be for a relative, or for pay or compensation of any kind. Other activities that are NOT accepted: EHS sports team managing, training or event timing or administration; most EHS music program events; concession stand or fundraising events in which proceeds benefit an EHS program; serving as a camp counselor while receiving free room and board (some exceptions made for camps for children with disabilities); performing in a musical, dance, or theater group unless related to a social cause or charity benefit; participation on committees in which the focus is on one’s own leadership development and does not include outreach to the larger community. Court-ordered community service hours are not eligible.

Meet the Advisor