Silver Cord of Service Award Program

The purpose of Lincoln High School’s Silver Cord of Service Award program is to instill within students the importance of community service and encourage them to invest in their own education and in their community on a regular basis during their high school years.

What is the Silver Cord program?

The Silver Cord of Service Award is a distinguished volunteer service award available to all Des Moines Public School students. To qualify for this award, students must complete a minimum of 40 hours of community service/volunteering during every year of high school, for a total of at least 160 hours on or before May 1st of their senior year. Silver Cord of Service Award recipients will receive a special honor cord to wear during graduation as recognition of their outstanding achievement.


How does a student find out about volunteer opportunities?

You can find silver opportunities by checking your Snap! Connect app.

How does a student document their hours?

Documentation forms can be found at the links to the right, in Room 2663, the counseling center, or student services.  Students should fill out and submit the DMPS Verification of Hours form for each individual volunteer activity within 30 days of completing the activity. If the activity is on-going, please also complete and submit the Documentation of On-going hours form. Both of these forms can be turned into the Silver Cord mailbox in the main office.


How can a student check their submitted hours to view their progress?

All students that have submitted hours for Silver Cord can view their total hours on the Infinite Campus Silver Cord tab.


Defining Acceptable/Non-Acceptable Service Activities

Acceptable Service Activities:

Service activities must meet a clear need for a nonprofit (501c3) or government agency. Examples include but are not limited to: schools, local or state government agencies, church, parks, charity programs, community events or community organization. Exemptions from this are senior living communities, nursing homes, and child care centers. Students are encouraged to complete a portion of their service hours at Lincoln High School or the surrounding community.

Volunteer projects must be supervised by an adult who is employed by the service organization or is an established volunteer recognized by the organization. Family members and/or fellow students are not eligible to serve as the supervisor or verify volunteer hours.

Non-acceptable Service Activities:

Court-ordered Community Service

Service provided directly to a for-profit institution or organization

Service/time for which you are being financially reimbursed or compensated

Travel time to and from the service site

Sleeping or personal recreation time during service hours

Hours completed during class time unless approved by school administration. Student aides receiving credit are not allowed to count this as Silver Cord service time

Service provided in conjunction with an academic course or other school-based organization (for example: NHS, Ambassadors, CCR)

Service hours used to satisfy a requirement/obligation for any agency, program or organization of which you are a member


Religious Service:

In order to be applicable to a student’s Silver Cord of Service Award hours, an activity may NOT be directly involved with the rituals, services or ceremonies of any specific religious organization.

Acceptable examples of religious activities include: teaching Sunday or Vacation Bible School, leading youth groups, babysitting during religious services and/or participating in mission trips.

Non-acceptable examples of religious activities include: singing in the choir, candle lighting, reading from religious texts and/or altar service


For more information about Lincoln High School’s “Silver Cord of Service” Program:

Please contact Rachel West, Lincoln’s Community School Coordinator, via email or Isabel Marquez, Lincoln’s Office Manager, via email at


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