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In order to fully develop the whole person, all students are required to participate in either a yearlong club or seasonal sport. It is our philosophy that such participation is vital in developing well-rounded students, broadening student interests, and encouraging a strong ownership of Universal School. Additionally, with college admission becoming so competitive, colleges are now looking for students who show participation in school activities beyond the classroom. In order for a yearlong activity to be counted for a student’s participation requirement, the club or activity must either be academic, competitive or service oriented. A strong commitment and weekly attendance is required. The following Clubs meet one or all of the above-mentioned requirements:
The National Honor Society (NHS) and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) are the nation’s premier organizations established to recognize outstanding high school and middle level students. More than just an honor roll, NHS and NJHS serve to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character (and Citizenship for NJHS). These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since their beginnings in 1921 and 1929.
On January 06, 2011, Shahinaz Ahmad, the Moraine Valley College MSA president (at the time only the public relations coordinator) came to speak to 9th-12th grade girls on the topic of Hijab. She highlighted the importance of Muslim girls wearing the headscarf, and she described the many benefits of such a practice. The girls truly enjoyed her speech, and she related to them her own personal stories, with which the girls were more easily able to connect. Inshallah Shahinaz will continue to motivate many other young Muslim girls.
Congratulations to Universal Junior High School Chess Team, who participated in the State Tournament, organized by Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA), in Bloomington on February 18-19, 2011.
As of September 2012, the Universal IMAN Club began its first official community clean up. The team, consisting of many volunteers, cleaned up the community garden. They eradicated the place of weeds, dying plants, and harvested the produce in the area, including cantaloupe and squash. This effort will continue on annually, extending its projects into the summer time as a collective effort will be enacted so as to purify the community garden and beautify the landscape through planting flowers and vegetables.
The Lexicon Challenge is a competition for students who are interested in improving their vocabulary or testing their vocabulary knowledge. The competition involves studying an extensive list of words and memorizing the synonym and antonym of each word. The list of words for 9th -12th grade has not changed over the years. Students entering the competition in 9th grade can possibly receive the same word if they enter the competition in 10th , 11th, or 12th. There are over 700 words to study, so serious students can begin studying over the summer, or even the year before!
The Spelling Bee was a great accomplishment! Many dedicated students walked down the hallway holding their spelling list trying to perfect their spelling. First and foremost, we would like to congratulate every one who participated in the Spelling Bee.
WYSE, (Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering) is a competition that tests the knowledge of students in several subject areas, such as Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, English, Biology, Computer Fundamentals and Engineering Graphics. There are three stages of the competition, the regional, the sectional, and the state level. If a team, which must include fourteen participants, finishes first or second out of all competing teams at their designated testing site, they move on to the next level.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. STEM club was initiated by Universal school students four years ago and is sponsored by Mrs. Alharithi. The club meets once a month; currently has 32 members and is run by four executives from the students’ body. In every meeting, students are given a challenge in a competition style and the groups have to come up with a design to meet that challenge. The challenges are brain teasers and require the application of sciences to be met successfully. At the end, there will be a winner but all have fun and learn something new.