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Humboldt Community School District

Silver Cord Award



View the Printable PDF Silver Cord Award Form Here

Purpose of the program

  • To instill within students the important role that community service has in building a successful, growing community.

  • To enhance student’s learning through direct service.

  • To enable students to help others and give of themselves.

  • To enhance the self-confidence of students.

  • To increase citizenship skills of students.

  • To offer students an opportunity to work with people of assorted ages, races, and religions.

  • To foster a reaffirmation of student’s career choices.

  • To assist students in developing and participating in important projects that will enhance their resumes and college applications.

  • To present positive images of teenagers to the local community.

Requirements of the program


  • The Silver Cord Award is a distinguished service award available to Humboldt High School students who earn at least 400 hours of community volunteer service from the start of their freshmen year through May 1 of their graduating year. At the Senior Awards program in May, recipients will receive a silver cord to wear on their robes at graduation in recognition of their achievement. Those moving into the district after the start of their freshman year may have hour requirements pro-rated.

  • Volunteer service hours are pro-rated from the beginning of your time at HHS. You must complete 400 hours by graduation.

  • Pre-Approval: Approval is recommended prior to the service activity and must be submitted each school year for ongoing activities. (Please see attached form.) This prevents any misunderstanding of qualifying hours. Students may not appeal the validity of hours without the signed form which was processed before the service activity in question.

  • Documentation: Students must document all service activities on the Silver Cord Award Form – one form for each site or project, signed by the supervisor at the site. Time for breaks, lunch, or travel cannot count toward service hours. Forms should be submitted to the high school principal on the first day of each month for ongoing activities or within 30 days of the completion of other activities. Seniors must submit all Silver Cord Award forms/documentation by May 1st of their graduating year.

  • 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, hours earned the summer after freshmen year can apply toward either the freshman or sophomore 100-hour requirement.) For incoming freshmen, community service hours would start after completion of their 8th-grade year. Incoming freshmen can earn hours the summer prior to the start of their freshmen year. Students should pick up blank Silver Cord Award forms before the end of school to use for documenting summer service. Summer hours begin the day school is dismissed for the summer break and end the day before the first day of school. Completed Award forms for summer service are due to the high school principal by September 1st.

  • Acceptable and non-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, charity program fundraiser or community event. The service should be ‘above and beyond’ one’s usual scope of involvement. Some examples of activities that would not be considered acceptable service are: Sports team managing or training, rehearsing or working from home. Camp counselors may receive eight hours per day for service.

  • Religious service: In order to be applicable to a student’s Silver Cord hours, an activity may NOT be directly involved with the rituals, services, or ceremonies of any specific religion (i.e. singing in the choir, candle lighting, reading from religious texts, altar service, etc.) Accepted religious activities include, but are not limited to: Teaching Sunday or Vacation Bible School, leading youth groups, babysitting during religious services, working on sound crew, or recording/videotaping a service or mission trips.

  • Silver Cord hours cannot be:

o to satisfy a class or requirement/obligation
o court-mandated community service
o for a relative
o for pay or compensation of any kind
o any time school is in session
o travel to and from volunteer activities

  • It is important to remember:

o Not all good deeds are community service.
o Not all community service will necessarily be recognized for the Silver Cord Program.

"It is the policy of the Humboldt Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, age, sex, sexual
orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by
the Iowa Code section 216.7. If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy please contact the
Humboldt Community School District, Assistant Finance Manager, 23 3rd St N PO Box 130 Dakota City, IA 50529; 515-332-1330 or
the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th St., Des Moines, IA 50319-1004; phone number 515-
281-4121, 800-457-4416; web site:"

© 2023 Humboldt Community School District. All rights reserved.

© 2023 Humboldt Community School District. All rights reserved.