Silver Cord Service Program

The purpose of the South Hamilton Silver Cord Program is to recognize outstanding service contributions to the local community by SH students.

Seniors who have completed a minimum of 200 hours of approved volunteer service during their four years at South Hamilton will be awarded a silver cord and will be recognized at the Senior Awards Banquet. While it is required that students complete a minimum of 25 hours of approved service activities per year to reach the 200 total hours, students may accumulate their 200 hours in varying amounts during their four years of high school.

The Silver Cord Program will be phased into place according to the following schedule for the next four years: Class of 2012 – 50 hours; Class of 2013 – 100 hours; Class of 2014 – 150 hours; Class of 2015 and beyond – 200 hours.

A log of student completion of approved service activities will be maintained for all students by the principal. It is the sole responsibility of the student to contact the principal and complete paperwork as part of the selection process.

An oversight committee (principal, guidance counselor, teachers) will review periodically those activities that constitute “approved” community service. To constitute an “approved” area of service, the following criteria must be met:

-Most service hours must be attained during non-school time. (Up to 10 hours a year can come during school time.)

-The approved service hours must be completed for “non-pay.”

-The approved service hours from any one project or area may not exceed 20 hours.

-The approved service hours should be approved by the Principal BEFORE being undertaken.

-The approved service hours must be submitted to the principal with appropriate documentation (see accompanying form) and then will be recorded by the principal on the individual student’s service log sheet.

-Any questions as to the approval of service hours will be referred to the oversight committee, which will render a final decision about any issues.

While it is impossible to foresee all opportunities for approved service by students, and while the listing below is and will be subject to continuous updating, the following guidelines are in place to assist students in understanding what will constitute “approved” (and not approved) areas for service as part of the Silver Cord Service Program.
 Acceptable service areas:

– Volunteering with community service organizations

– Reading to the elderly; assisting the elderly with household chores (shoveling, raking, etc.)

– Volunteering for special church projects

– Helping to improve the school buildings and grounds

– Youth Task Force activities (outside of school hours)

– Coaching younger children in a sport or other activity

– Working with a blood drive (outside of school hours)

– Tutoring other students before or after school

– Working on a community beautification or clean up project

– Assisting with Special Olympics outside of school hours

– Serving as a counselor (non-paid) at a camp or special outing

– Assisting at a hospital, shelter, daycare, or nursing home

– Volunteering for special events such as Relay For Life, Cancer Telethon, etc.

– Community service which fulfills requirements for Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts

– Working for a political party or campaign

-Fundraising for NON-PROFIT organizations (not to exceed 10 hours total)


Non-acceptable service areas:

– Doing chores at home or helping family members

– Attending church or Sunday school

– Working on the family farm or within a family business

– Babysitting for siblings or relatives and friends

– Completing ANY task for which money is received

– Doing “extra credit” or special “chores” for a teacher at school

– Participating in extra-curricular activities (or doing a project “attached” to an activity, team,     club, etc.)

– Court-ordered community service

– Completing service mandated through law enforcement.

As noted above, this list in no way encompasses ALL opportunities for service. Students who have ideas for service undertakings that are not listed above should check with a school administrator BEFORE engaging in the activity to make sure that it is “approved.”

Silver Cord Service And Reflection Form