Silver Cord

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. Silver Cord of Service Award recipients 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. 

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 EastHigh. 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. 


Students MUST document all service activities on the Silver Cord Award Form provided by East High – one form for each site or project, 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). Forms can be submitted to Mrs. Benson at East High School at any time during the year. For sophomores and juniors: if you don’t turn in forms by the end of the school year, you may submit them at any time during the following fall. There is no specific deadline for underclassmen to submit forms, although it is best to turn them in as soon as they are completed. 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 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 Café
EHS Food For Thought Bags EHS Thrift Shop
EHS Tutoring Club
Food Bank
Friendship Connections

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
Red Cross

Ronald McDonald House
Salvation Army
Santa’s House
Siouxland Dive Team
Siouxland Soup Kitchen
Special Olympics
The Evelyn Larson Theatre
United Way
Watchful Eye Foundation

Check out more ideas for volunteer opportunities on

Summer Service

Service hours earned during the summer after the academic year may be applied toward EITHER the prior or following school year – 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). It is recommended that all summer projects be pre-approved in writing by Mr. Dreessen to make sure they are acceptable. Pre-approval forms are available in the Office (or on the Documentation page) and should be submitted 2 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 school to use for documenting summer service. Please keep completed forms until you return to East in the fall. The Silver Cord Adviser will be responsible for keeping students’ Silver Cord files.


Silver Cord hours CANNOT BE for a relative, or for pay or compensation of any kind. Other activities that would not be acceptable: EHS sports team managing, training or event timing or administration; most EHS music program events; concession stand or fundraising events in which proceeds benefit a 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 larger community. Court ordered community service hours are not eligible.

Meet the Advisor