Silver Cord Program

About the Program

The Silver Cord Program is a service program available to all West 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. 

A School Committed to Community Service 

The purpose of the West High Silver Cord Program is to instill the importance of community service within West 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. 

Who is Eligible?  

All West High students who would like to help the community and others.  

How to Earn the Silver Cord for Graduation?  

Students must complete a minimum of forty hours of committee-approved community service in their sophomore, junior, and senior years at West High. Students cannot average 40 hours per year over the three-year span; forty hours must be completed within each school year. Our goal is to instill the idea of community service as a life-long pursuit. If students successfully complete the number of hours necessary, they will receive a silver cord to wear at commencement.  

Required Documentation:  

Students must document all service activities on the Silver Cord Award Form provided by West 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, but it must be attached to the Silver Cord Form). Submit forms to Mrs. Cleveland at West High at any time during the year. For freshman who earn hours during the summer before their sophomore year, you may submit them the following fall and get credit toward your sophomore hours. For sophomores and juniors: if you do not 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 1 of senior year.  

Summer Service:  

Service hours earned during the summer, after the academic year, may be applied toward EITHER the prior or the 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 the administrative advisor to make sure they are acceptable. Pre-approval forms are available in the Freshman Office (or on the West High website- under Our School) 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 school to use for documenting summer service. Please keep completed forms until you return to West High in the fall. The Silver Cord Advisor will be responsible for keeping students’ Silver Cord files.  

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 can be applied to Silver Cord service. Silver Cord hours CANNOT be for a relative, or for pay or compensation of any kind.  

Approved Organizations/Activities:  

  • American Heart Association

  • Art Splash

  • Best Buddies

  • Beyond the Bell  

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters

  • Blood Bank/Blood Drives

  • Camp Goodwill

  • 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 Day

  • Ragbrai

  • Red Cross  

  • Retirement Homes

  • 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

  • YMCA  

Looking for More Opportunities: 

Are you working on earning your Silver Cord or meeting community service requirements? is the place to go. This is an online volunteer center for Siouxland, and there are now more than 100 nonprofit organizations on Volunteer Siouxland, with more than 50 active needs for volunteers on any given day. This resource provides students with an easy way to find and track volunteer hours – confirmed by the organization. To sign up, please go to 

Silver Cord Award Form

School Contact