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Keeping kids in touch with their community
Silver Cords program begins at Fennimore Schools
Fennimore Golden Eagle
Fennimore high school students will have a new opportunity to serve their community this year.
“The Fennimore High School mission is to facilitate the development of the potential of each student so they may be successful in society,” the report prepared by District Asistant Principal Lisa Wallin-Kapnis shared. “In our efforts we will be implementing a Silver Cord Service Program. This service and volunteer program will provide students with opportunities to develop to their fullest potential and become valuable members of the community and society.”
The Silver Cord concept is recognized nationally, Wallin-Kapinus noted, adding that her “familiarity (with the program) comes from my previous district in which we gleaned program protocol and ideas that could be tailored to fit Fennimore high school.”
The program requires 160 hours of volunteer service through out the student’s high school career. In the initial implementation process, the hours will be prorated. Students may begin accumulating hours following the completion of their eighth grade year.
The class of 2020 requirement is 40 hours, class of 2021  requirement is 80 hours and the class of 2022 is 120 hours. The class of 2023 will be required to fulfill the full 160 hours over two to four years.
Once completed, the students will be able to wear the silver cords during graduation as well as add their accomplishments to various applications.
“It will look great on scholarship applications and job resumes,” Fennimore Promotions Coordinator Linda Parrish shared. “I’ve been on many committees reviewing scholarship applications  and the ones that come out on top are the people that go above and beyond.”
Parrish also noted it is beneficial for the organizations participating.
“It is a great way for some organizations and non profits to get assistance on projects they need help on,” Parrish said.
Some options that qualify for the Silver Cord Service Program include:
• Homework help and/or peer tutoring with prior approval
•Summer School teacher assistant
•Summer camp volunteer
•School-sponsored childcare opportunities
•Summer recreation, youth sports (coach, referee, fieldwork, concession, etc.)
•Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts volunteer
•Library volunteer
Park or community clean-up projects
•Local or community events volunteer
•Non-Profit volunteer (Railroad Society, Depot Exchange, Maroon and Gold Club, Salvation Army, Red Cross, Feed My Starving Children, Marsden Park Trust, etc.)
•Natural Disaster assistance (flood,fire, weather)
•Chamber of Commerce, City, or Municipality volunteer
•Food pantry volunteer
•Humane or kennel shelter volunteer
•Nursing home or hospice volunteer
•Churches and community organizations
Any ideas or opportunities not listed, please contact the administration for approval.
“There really is a wide variety of things students can do,” Parrish said. “It will be a learning experience for students and a chance to get different age groups together as well.”
Non qualifying activities include organization or instructional classroom required activities, activities with compensation, chores at home, farm or baby sitting, court-ordered community service, spontaneous acts of kindness, or working for a political party or campaign.

“The Silver Cord Service Program will not only benefit the community, but it will assist students in the development of their leadership and citizenship skills,” Wallin-Kapinus said. “The program gives students an opportunity to engage in a process of evaluating their interests, skills and also explore career choices, all of which promotes college and career readiness. It is my hope that the students and community will be as excited .”