Clarion Goldfield Dows Silver Cord Award Program

Purpose of the Program

● To instill within students the important role that community service and volunteering has in a successful 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 diverse individuals/groups.

● To assist students in developing and participating in authentic, meaningful projects that will enhance their learning, 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 Clarion Goldfield Dows High School students who earn at least 300 hours of community volunteer service from the start of their freshman 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 CGD. You must complete 300 hours by May 1st of your graduation year.

● 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 or lunch cannot count toward service hours. Partial travel time may be counted for events/distances farther than fifteen miles. (For example, if you drive to Ames to help with Special Olympics, one way of driving (45 minutes) can be counted toward your 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 freshman year can apply toward either the freshman or sophomore 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. Forms can be picked up in the High School Office. 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.

It is important to remember:
  • Not all good deeds are community service.
  • Not all community service will necessarily be recognized for the Silver Cord Program.