The Service Learning Requirement
The Silver Cord
All students who have earned a total of 250 Volunteer Service Hours may receive a silver cord to wear at commencement. An adjustment to the 250 total hours required to receive a silver cord should be made for students who enter the Broward County Public Schools after their freshmen year.
Guidelines Specific to the Silver Cord Program
- All services must comply with the policies of the School Board of Broward County, Florida.
- Student volunteer service hours may be earned in both the school and or the community.
- Services for which a student or an organization that a student belongs to receives financial/or other substantial compensation will not be counted. This would include revenues from ticket sales or donations. For example, participation in a car wash sponsored by a club would not count as community service. An exception to this guideline would be if the organization is donating the profits (less expenses) to a bonafide charity. Another example, the school chorus puts on a performance at which admission is charged and all of the proceeds less the cost of cleaning their uniforms is donated to a charitable organization. Volunteer service that is a “prior condition to employment” will not count.
- Participation in and travel to theatrical musical performances, festivals or community events will count as service hours if both (a) and (b) below are met:
- (A) – The performance meets an identified community service need.
- (B) – The performance is not a fundraiser for the organization nor the student is paid, or receives academic credit. For example, students participating in the Florida Youth Orchestra or school bands/orchestras may receive hours for performing at a retirement home, charitable and civic events or for a non-profit agency
- A student may earn volunteer hours by helping at an event or performance at which admission is charged or a donation collected, providing that the student is not a member of the organization benefiting from the event. For example, a student, who is not a member of the Drama Club, may volunteer to usher and collect tickets at a drama club production and earn service learning hours.
- Rehearsal and practice time will count for volunteer service projects to be performed or conducted specifically to meet a community service need.
- Service learning hours documented for community service as part of non-credit granting workshops, programs or conferences will count as volunteer service.
- Fundraising activities for non-profit charities will count as volunteer service hours as long as the activity complies with Broward County School Board Policies 6206 and 6208 and providing the student is not volunteering for an organization that benefits the school (i.e. a booster club fundraiser). For example, a high school student government may hold a candy sale and donate all of the profits to the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. However, the conduct of the project including depositing the money in the school account must be in accordance with School Board policies. Service hours may not be earned based on the amount of funds raised or products sold.
- Volunteering at events or programs sponsored by governmental agencies will count. For example, students serving as an usher at public institutions such as the Broward Center for the Performing Arts or Coral Springs City Center are eligible to receive service learning hours.
- Activities organized by profit making or non-profit organizations to address a community service need will count as volunteer service hours.
- Services performed for day care centers, retirement homes, and animal hospitals count for volunteer hours. A student may earn service hours by volunteering with a doctor, lawyer or dentist only when “pro bono” work is being performed. For example, if a doctor volunteers to give physical examinations to school athletes, a student may assist and earn service hours.
- Service performed on staff at non-profit athletic or music camps for no financial compensation will count as volunteer services hours.
- Time out of class may not be used for hours, however a maximum of five (5) volunteer hours per week can be earned by participation in an organized, supervised and approved peer tutoring program in which the tutoring takes place when school is in session. However, the tutoring sessions cannot take place during any of the tutor’s academic classes.
The Volunteer Service Record Log Sheet
Hours earned as part of the Student Volunteer Service Program must be documented on the Volunteer Service Record Log Sheet. These forms must be submitted to the Student Volunteer Service Program Coordinator. Students should turn in Service Records regularly and should keep a duplicate copy of all forms for their records