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Silver Cord


Silver Cord is an opportunity for students to be recognized for hours of community service that they have completed during their four years of high school. For service hours to be honored, the student may not receive payment or credit for their service. 

If students complete the required 200 hours of service by April 30 of their senior year, they will be recognized at the Senior Honors Assembly and will wear a silver cord at commencement. 

Hours must be completed as established below: 

  • The Silver Cord Community Service Cards will be available for students to pick up in the Main Office. 
  • These can also be printed from the Ottumwa Schools Website.  A list of volunteer opportunities is also available to view here. 
  • The Silver Cord Community Service Cards must be completed and signed by the supervising adult. 
  • The Silver Cord Community Service Cards must be returned to Mrs. Birch, Silver Cord Advisor, in the Main Office upon completion of volunteering. 
  • Students may see an Ottumwa High Administrator or Mrs. Birch, Silver Cord Advisor, if concerned whether the service they have chosen is acceptable. Partial credit will be given to hours completed through organizations such as Scouts or 4H. NOT ALL HOURS CAN BE FROM THE SAME ACTIVITY AS IT IS EXPECTED THAT STUDENTS WILL VOLUNTEER FOR A VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES. 
  • Mrs. Birch, Silver Cord Advisor, will supervise the database of student volunteers and notify students if hours were approved or not. 
  • Service hours done over the summer will be accepted.
  • The deadline for graduating seniors’ service hours will be April 30 of each school year. 

Examples of service may include: 

  • Volunteer at a hospital, care center, county home, food bank, clothing bank 
  • Fine Arts performances for the community (outside of OHS) 
  • Volunteering at preschools/daycares outside of your home
  • Peer tutoring 
  • Yard work for area citizens 
  • Helping shut-ins (reading, housework, writing letters, etc.) 
  • Volunteering for the humane society 
  • Volunteering at church – mission trips, etc. 
  • Mentoring