A District Committed to Community Service

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The purpose of the Southeast Polk Silver Cord Program is to instill within students the importance of community service, and encourage students to be accountable for investing in their own education and in their community on a regular basis during their school years. 

The Silver Cord Program recognizes students for their community service during their high school years.  Students are recognized at 150 hours.  Students volunteering 150 hours by April 30 of their senior year will have the distinct honor of wearing a silver cord during their graduation ceremony. This is a self-directed program. The student is responsible for turning in all of their hours.

While it is suggested that students complete the minimum hours of service activities per year to reach the 150 total hours, students may accumulate their 150 hours in varying amounts during their four years of high school.*

*Due to the pandemic, many volunteer opportunities were not available for a few months in 2020.  Thus, the total number or required hours was adjusted for the classes of 2022 and 2023 to 135 hours minimum.  The class of 2024 and beyond will be required to earn a minimum of 150 hours.

Your Service Matters! Here is How to Begin

  • The Silver Cord Program starts August 1 of the freshman year and concludes April 30 of the senior year.
  • Consider activities of interest to you.
  • Contact the volunteer organization site to schedule and confirm your service activities.
  • Remember that 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 Coordinator (Valerie Powell).
  • Print the Silver Cord Award Form or pick one up at the Attendance Office during the school year.
  • Complete your service.
  • Turn your completed Silver Cord Award Form, with ALL questions answered and ALL required signatures, into the Attendance Office.
  • Hours in question will be reviewed by the Silver Cord Coordinator for approval.
  • Any disputed hours between the student and Silver Cord Coordinator will be further reviewed by the administration.
  • Choose to volunteer again.  The more hours you volunteer, the closer you are to having the distinct honor of wearing a silver cord at graduation.  However, the most important thing is giving something back to the community.  

SEP Silver Cord Volunteer Opportunities

Silver Cord FAQ


Valerie Powell, Silver Cord Coordinator
(515) 967-6631, ext. 2026