I have long believed that adult success is largely influenced by how we spend our time outside of the school day. Whether it is in the arts, athletics, or club activities, we define ourselves by what we do. Here are some programs I currently run for students.
Since 1995, the Royal Oak Model United Nations team has been our international debate team, arguing and advocating for global issues around the world. Highly awarded and named a National Model for Education by UNA-USA, ROMUN is one of the most powerful academic clubs a student can join at ROHS. It meets MUN-days after school in Room 105. Membership is open in the fall and late spring.
Interact is the largest club at Royal Oak High School, dedicated to a mission of “Service Above Self.” A youth Rotary program, Interact sponsors dozens of projects each year, including coordinating clubs in other schools, microloans for businesswomen in the developing world, Toy Breakfast, Box City homeless project, Alternative February Break, and The Roost Student Union. It meets Wednesdays after school in Room 105; just stop in at any time!
Socrates Cafe is built upon the global approach of simple discussion of philosophical topics. Our club has no officers, no dues, no attendance: it’s just a drop-in and talk event that has addressed such topics as “What does it mean to be rich?” or “What is the relationship between maturity and freedom?” We meet every Thursday morning (Thoughtful Thursdays), 7:20 am, at The Roost.
The Roost is our morning coffee shop and Student Union, a place for quiet study and talk in the mornings, and special music, film, food, or performance programs through the day and in evenings. It also sells Raven merchandise, has a student art gallery, and is a center for finding our about volunteer opportunities at ROHS. There’s always something new happening! Drop in or even volunteer to work!
A Culture of Service
Building a “Culture of Service” at ROHS is worthy of our entrance motto: “Enter Here to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.” We are building plenty of opportunities to get involved, whether or not you’re in a club like Interact, NHS, or Student Council. Want to do something special for someone? See what we’re organizing–you’re always welcome! Find out more at tinyurl.com/ravenservice or through the button below.
Since ROHS began, the Alternative February Break has been Interact’s largest annual volunteer effort, bringing 30-80 students to neighborhoods suffering from natural disasters for a week of demo work, clean-up, and reconstruction. It’s a rough week and amazingly rewarding. Sign up begins in the fall and fundraising can happen year-round. Past trips have taken us to New Orleans, Galveston, Joplin, and Nashville.
Competitions I Annually Sponsor
Voice of Democracy
The Veterans of Foreign War sponsor this annual fall contest challenging students to write and perform an audio essay of 3-5 minutes on a given theme. Students receive cash prizes as they ascend levels in the contest, from $100 to $30,000 in cash and scholarships. Local contest deadlines usually fall on or around November 1.
Ayn Rand Foundation Contests
The Ayn Rand Essay Contest is a spring event where students write a lengthy literary critical essay around one of Rand’s controversial books. Fiercely competitive, students can win anywhere from $30 to $10,000 in cash prizes, and there are over 200 winners at each level. Freshmen and sophomores write on Anthem, and juniors and seniors write on The Fountainhead.
Poetry Out Loud
The annual Poetry Out Loud contest is also part of a national movement of students to perform a variety of memorized poetry. The fall contest takes place amongst all ELA9 students at ROHS, though anyone is eligible to compete. ELA9 students should expect a fair amount of class time dedicated to rehearsal, etc. The ROHS finalists will compete in an evening activity.
I am always offering contests and scholarship opportunities to students as I come across those which I have vetted as legitimate and that offer a reasonable opportunity for the work effort involved. If you know of contests I should consider supporting, let me know!