Building Character and Developing Minds
bismilah irahman irahim
MCC Full Time School News
February 2014
Mon., Feb. 3 - Third Quarter begins
Tues., Feb. 18, 8:30am - PSG Book Club discussion 
(see PSG update below)
Tues., Feb. 18, 2:45pm - Crescent Foods "Healthy Eating" Seminar 
Parents, join our early childhood students in grades 1-3rd at this special health seminar focused on healthy eating and halal food presented by Crescent Foods, one of our valued sponsors this year.
Free giveaways and coupons will be distributed!
MCC Weekly Community Lecture Series: Hadith Study of the Arbaeen of Nawawi 
Instructed by Maulana Mubeen Kamani
Every Friday, 8pm, at MEC Masjid

MCCFTS Annual Dinner
Saturday, March 8, 2014, 6:30pm
As we celebrate this milestone accomplishment, we are thankful to Allah (swt) for the blessings of our achievements. We look forward to sharing our success stories with you as we look back fondly at how we've grown and where our alumni are today, and as we share with you our hopes for the exciting road ahead.

InshAllah, we hope to see you on Saturday, March 8, at 6:30pm at White Eagle Banquet Hall, 6839 N. Milwaukee Ave., Niles, IL. 
Reach upwards of 750 people with your advertisement in our Annual Dinner program booklet. Email Jill Alali for additional information. 
Council Update
Assalamu alaikum,
Though the cold winds blow and the snow continues to fall, the MCC Full Time School Council remains focused on its work of improving our school. As always, everyone in our school community strives to provide the best for our children and families - this includes delivering a challenging curriculum and assembling dynamic, capable faculty and administration. We are thankful to all who helped fund and support the purchase of our second facility in Skokie, IL. As we finalize plans for how both buildings will be utilized beginning next school year, we will keep you updated.

Active fundraising is an integral part of the Council's, as well as the community's work. Our next event is the Annual Fundraising Dinner on Saturday, March 8, 2014, at White Eagle Banquet Hall in Niles, IL. Since this event marks our 25th anniversary, Alhamdulillah, it promises to be a celebration of the school community's accomplishments, inshallah. Please plan to attend, sell tickets and donate your resources as we prepare to celebrate this joyous milestone.

Council meetings take place at 7 PM on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Farisa Hussain:
PSG Update
Family Roller Skating Night (Jan. 11, 2014)- Led by Belinda Tibayan and Fikreta Ademi
Roller skating night was a success, alhumdulillah. PSG was able to raise about $1600 that night. We are grateful to all the families that participated. We thank all of our business sponsors (see below) who contributed generously and made this event a big success. 

Upcoming Events:
Create like the Masters - Children's hands-on Art Workshop (Feb. 8, 2014) - Geared towards children ages 6-12 years, this is a fun workshop. Register early to guarantee your child's spot. 

PSG Book Club (Feb 18, 2014 - 8:30am)
Book selection is "Boys Adrift" by Dr Leonard Sax, a fascinating book about the five factors driving the growing epidemic of unmotivated boys and underachieving young men. This is a serious problem in our western culture and this book provides specific, concrete identifiers of what is contributing to this problem and how we, as parents, can help steer clear of these drivers. Special Guest - Mariyah Qureshi, licensed family therapist, will be facilitating the book discussion. Breakfast will be served.

Great ideas are always welcome. Please share your feedback and/or comments at 
MCCFTS Finalizes Purchase of New Facility
AlhumdilAllah, MCC closed on the purchase of a second MCCFTS facility located in Skokie, IL, on January 7, 2014. MCCFTS council is working diligently on specific plans for where students will be placed between the two campuses beginning in Fall 2014. It has been initially decided that additional sections will be added to our early childhood grades with plans for a high school and additional elementary sections still in the exploratory phase. 

This blessed opportunity would not have been possible without the help of generous individuals among our MCCFTS parents and the broader community who donated considerably toward a significant down payment, alhumdilAllah. InshAllah, we pray all of you will continue to support the expansion efforts with your donations toward funding the remainder balance of the Sharia-compliant loan MCC had to secure for payment of the facility. We also need to fund considerable upgrades to the building that need to be completed in order to bring the facility up to code. 

Please plan to attend our Annual Dinner on March 8, 2014, (see above) where you can make your donation to this cause. All donations are tax-deductible. 

Please see the recent news article by The Niles-Morton Grove Patch about our expansion click here.
Spelling Bee - Ms. Khan, Middle School English

Alhamdulillah, MCC has wrapped up its 16th Annual Spelling Bee! Both the elementary (2nd-4th grade) and middle school (5th-8th grade) competitions were enthralling to watch as our students were challenged with words to spell ranging from a variety of languages of origin! With the assistance of middle school literature teacher, Mrs. Benish Hassan, and meticulous judges-- Mrs. Huda Mohammed, Mrs. Maheen Hina Raja, Mr. Harris Hassan, Ms. Keren Mujtaba, and Mrs. Amara Motiwala--the competition was a success!  Our winners from the elementary competition were: Laiba Navaid in 1st place, Haniya Khan in 2nd place, and Syed Abdusamad Aqueel in 3rd place. For our middle school competition, the winners were: Ayman Ali in 1st place, Eiman Navaid in 2nd place, and Faisal Shethwala in 3rd place. Our middle school winner, Ayman Ali, will now progress to North Cook's 4th Annual ISC Scripps Spelling Bee event on February 4th. InshaAllah, if Ayman becomes a 1st-3rd place winner there, she will then have a chance to compete in the Regional Scripps Spelling Bee on February 19th.

Students Create 25th Anniversary Art Installation 

As part of our year-long 25th Anniversary celebration, students participated in creating an enormous collage art piece using recycled magazines and a decoupage-like technique to commemorate this special occasion. MCCFTS parent and artist Alisa Dzananovic volunteered her time and creativity in leading the students to create this special art piece. She did an amazing job sharing a beautiful vision for this piece and also in guiding the students so that they could learn the technique and completely do the project on their own. May Allah swt reward her for her efforts, inshAllah. The collage will be unveiled at our Annual Dinner on Saturday, March 8, at White Eagle Banquet Hall, and eventually will be hung in the school.
Crescent Boys Basketball Team Captures Championship

AlhumdilAllah, yet again, Coach Ali Tai along with Assistant Coaches Kadir and Usman led our middle school boys basketball team to a championship win. Finishing their season undefeated, MCCFTS Crescents enjoyed an amazing season!
Library Update - Mrs. Saiduzzaman
Excited to Get their First Library Card!

Students in grades K-3rd were encouraged to visit their neighborhood libraries over winter break to get their very first library card. I am very happy to say, alhumdulillah, most parents helped their children get their cards. Teachers are supporting this effort by giving kids who bring in their library cards extra points toward Language Arts or English class grades. Parents, please visit your local library with your child to check out new books and other items. Students now know all about the various offerings at the library including: downloading books, checking out video games, magazines, audiobooks, kits, language books and join different programs.

Middle School Science - Mrs. Saleh                                Islamic Scientist Play Entertains at Morton Grove Library

MashAllah, it was another great year of 8th grade class performances at the Annual Islamic Scientist Play. Each year, 8th Grade Science Teacher Mrs. Saleh leads 8th graders in writing and performing original acts as part of a play they perform to demonstrate their knowledge of famous Muslim scientists of centuries' past. Students dress up and become these famous, astounding scientists on stage as each group presents an entertaining and educational short act featuring their scientists' discoveries. Students performed the play to a packed audience on January 23 at the Morton Grove Public Library and earlier that week to the entire school in our school gymnasium.

Pre-K Islamic Studies - 
Mrs. Rahma
Special Project Helps Children to Learn Duas 
My two Pre-K Islamic Studies classes have been working hard on learning their daily duas. To help solidify their understanding we created fun Dua Pails for the children to use at home to study with their parents. I really wanted my students to make something concrete and to know that they can create their own duas whether they are small or big, for themselves or for the whole world, and to know that they always have that connection with their Creator.
4th Grade -
Ms. Humayoun
Animals into Art
We concluded our science unit on animal adaptations. My 4th grade class integrated art with science by doing an art project using shredded magazine paper to display their animal. They then had to research adaptations of their animal. In our unit, we learned about two specific adaptations: body parts and behaviors. Students were to find out if their animal had certain instincts such as migration or hibernation, or if their animal learned its behavior such as a cub learns how to hunt by observing a lion. Students did a wonderful job with their research. Please stop by our bulletin board to admire their spectacular work!

We've also been incorporating poetry in our classroom. Students were given an assignment to come up with a rhyming poem that described who they were as individuals. They wrote their poems on snowflakes to understand that no two snowflakes can ever be alike just like them. They are unique in their own beautiful way. Once again, they went above and beyond with their work. Their poems are displayed on our "poet tree" right next to the computer lab. In math, we are wrapping up our unit on data and probability. 
1st Grade - Miss Malik
Dreaming of Lady Bugs!  
The weather is frigid so why not write about it??!!! In math, we wrote addition and subtraction stories about being caught in a blizzard. We also made ladybugs in hopes of warmer weather, and also to solidify our knowledge of doubles and doubles plus ones facts. We read about Martin Luther King Jr. and learned about how he helped make this world a better place. We completed an art project and wrote our own dreams. Every Friday we meet with Ms. Gomaa's 5th grade class for reading buddies. We read "The Snow Globe Family" and are working on our own stories about living in a snow globe. 
3rd Grade - Mrs. Patel
The Importance of a Name 
My third grade students have been very busy mastering multiplication tables. Students have been practicing for timed tests each week. Mash'Allah, many students are able to complete 50 multiplication problems in 5 minutes. They have also been very busy with creative writing projects. They enjoyed writing about their favorite time of the day to spend with their families. Creative art activities are always the highlight of the week for the students. Their beautiful works of art decorate our classroom and hallways. We are looking forward to more creative writing and art projects in the warmer weather to come.....insha'Allah!

5th Grade - Mrs. Gomaa
Lesson in Helping those Less Fortunate

On January 14, my 5th grade class took a trip to help less fortunate kids around the world. We visited an organization called Feed My Starving Children located in Aurora, where we successfully packed over 14,000 meals for starving kids in Central America. The kids were moved by the sad reality of poverty that exists, but were glad to be a source of help. This experience not only gave us the opportunity to feed kids, but to help save lives.

Pre-K - Mrs. Shariff and Mrs. Rohee
Field Trip is Messy Fun

Both Pre-K classes enjoyed a fun field trip to "Make a Messterpiece" in Glenview where the children worked on three fun art projects! Thanks to Mrs. Shariff and Mrs. Rohee, all the teacher assistants and the parent chaperons that helped make this a fun experience. 

2nd Grade - Mrs. Sheikh
Little Scientists!

This has been a busy month for my enthusiastic second graders. They did a lot of activities in all the subjects especially in science. My second grade paleontologists have been studying fossils of dinosaurs and other animals and birds. They did a hands-on activity by making an imprint of their hands. My astronomers studied the planets, sun, moon, and stars. They did a cool project on planets which is displayed in our classroom. They also saw a demonstration of Earth's rotation around the sun. My reading group learned about the importance of following rules and each one wrote a rule.
One of my second graders, Haniya Khan, won 2nd place in the school spelling bee which was exciting as she competed with 3rd and 4th graders.

2nd Grade - Mrs. Baig
All About Animals

Welcome to the second grade Mesozoic Era, "The Age of the Dinosaurs". Students read about  "Earth long ago" in science and researched dinosaurs and fossils. They also did a diorama project, and created their own prehistoric scene in a box! Then, they presented different kinds of dinosaurs to their classmates. Students also did a unit on animals where they learned about each animal's unique characteristics. For example, we learned about how penguins can hold their breath under water for more than 20 minutes! They wrote facts about penguins and also created penguins with colored construction paper. We also learned interesting facts about butterflies and made them with giggly eyes. In science, we learned about weather and the three clouds. They created their own clouds using white tissue paper. We also studied the solar system and went to the planetarium for a field trip.

4th Grade - Mrs. Pathan
Research Project Success and Reconnecting with New Friends

Alhamdulillah, students have done a great job getting back into the school routine after winter break. During break, students were assigned a special research project. They were to research an explorer, create a poster board with descriptive information on their subject, and dress up as their featured explorer on the day of their presentation. Students did a phenomenal job! Also, both 4th grade classes had their second Poetry Pals meeting on Wednesday, January 15. The kids were psyched to go to the Catholic school, Sacred Heart. They started off with a tour of the church and had a few moments to ask questions about the church. After that, students broke into their same groups as last time to create poems of each faiths' holidays: Muslim, Jewish, and Catholic. All 4th grade students from each school did an amazing job! Now MCCFTS 4th-graders are looking forward to going to Solomon Schechter later this month.

Preschool - Mrs. Malik
Learning about Different Cultures  

Before winter break, Preschoolers spent two weeks learning about different cultures around the world. Parents came in on different days to discuss their cultures with the classroom. They brought in pictures, games, food, and clothing to help enhance learning in the classroom. The children had a blast getting to experience all the different cultures. At the end of the two weeks, kids enjoyed a cultural party. They came dressed up in their cultural clothes and our very supportive parents each brought one dish from their culture to partake in our potluck. Everyone had a great time. Our cultural week couldn't have been such a huge success without our wonderful parents, Alhmadulillah.

I would like to also share a very special thanks to Ms. Sadia Almas and Coach Ali Tai for spending their winter break taking care of our preschool classroom and making sure that it was in PERFECT condition for when the preschoolers came back to school after break! May Allah SWT reward them for their hard work.

Middle School History Bee - Mrs. Barkat

The 2014 History Bee Competition was held on Wednesday, January 15. Sixteen children from middle school competed. These sixteen students had received the highest scores on a qualifying exam taken by all the middle school students.  These sixteen students then competed against each other by answering questions about world, US, ancient and modern history.  At the end if the competition, winners were as follows: Halid skenderi, first place; Maaz Shaikh, second place; Kenan Ibrahimovic, third place. And honorable mention went to Mubashir Ahmed.  All four of these students will take a qualifying exam to see if they can enter the regional competition. Last year, Kenan competed in that competition. 

Pre-K - Mrs. Roohi
Snow Themes

Pre-K B has been super busy after winter break! We made winter themed snowflakes, mittens and snowmen! We've been reviewing letters, letter sounds and numbers! We just learned about the letter "K" and made our own colorful kites! We're also looking forward to our field trip to Make A Messterpiece! At Make A Messterpiece we're going to get down to business and paint with bubbles as well as our hands! We're also going to make a icky sticky goo!

Update from School Counselor - Sabahath Latifi
Alhamdulillah, it has been a pleasure working at MCCFTS this year. The support from the administration, as well as from the teachers, has been tremendous. I have had the privilege of meeting with students individually, as well as in a class setting. So far, I have been able to meet and work with grades 1-7. With grades 1-3, I did a two-session talk, which outlined what bullying is and why it should be avoided. However, the focus was on positive and friendly behavior, and ways to be a better classmate and friend. At the end of the sessions, students were asked to draw anything that would always remind them to be the best person they can be. 

With the older grades, we have started a comprehensive school program that addresses various topics of personal and social development. The program integrates both Islamic and psychological views and values. The goal of the program is to facilitate self-awareness, strong personal relationships, a healthy self-esteem, and positive social skills. The program is discussion and activity based; this allows for students to have a safe and structured environment to discuss specific concerns with a professional. Specific topics include: identity, morals and values, peer relationships, parents and teachers, support systems, self-esteem, emotional intelligence, and empathy. Topics are determined and discussed based on grade level. 

Alhamdulillah, fourth and fifth grade have completed the program. Throughout the rest of the school year, inshAllah, I will continue to work with grades 6-8. I will inshAllah also be visiting grades 1-3 again. This time, the focus will be social skills development and self-esteem. We are also planning to do a workshop (with middle school) about social media, how to use it safely, and how to make it a constructive tool. So far, the school year has been wonderful. I look forward to the various opportunities and experiences the rest of the school year will bring. 
Staff Profile
arches-mosque-cordoba.jpg Mrs. Ismail - MCCFTS Hifth Core Teacher

What is your teaching background? How long have you been teaching at MCCFTS and what subjects do you teach the Hifdh students? 
I have been teaching at MCCFTS for the past 2 1/2 years including the current year. Before that I was a homeschooler and taught my own children as well as organized workshops and taught other homeschooled students all of the different subjects. I am currently teaching the hifdh students math and English from grades 4 to 8. The subjects of science and social studies are taught in the summer.

I teach two grades at a time, four periods a day, and then the 4th grade by themselves for another two periods. I have grouped the 7th and 8th grades together and the 5th and 6th grades together. I teach math and then English back-to-back so the students can get back to their memorization without being disturbed again for the rest of the day.

Can you explain a little about how much time the Hifdh students spend on secular studies? What is a typical schedule like for them?
A typical schedule starts out with dua for the day and memorization in the masjid until they are called for class. At that time, they have their math class for one period and immediately afterwards we continue with English. Then they go back to memorization until it is time for lunch or for some of them, gym.

What are your primary goals in teaching our Hifdh students?
My primary goal is for them to get enough secular education to comfortably go back to the regular classroom. This entails covering major topics and skill sets within the different subjects and keeping up with the rest of the grades at MCCFTS. I try to include novels similar to the ones read in middle school. In addition, I try not to fall too far behind the other elementary classrooms in the subject matter that is being covered there. My focus is to make sure that the skill sets are covered with enough exposure of similar material.

What do you find special about these kids or about teaching these kids? The kids are great, Alhumdulillah. The are fun-loving and ready to learn without anything outside of direct instruction. However, I still try to vary the methods of teaching I use so they don't get bored.

You have a child in the Hifdh program. From the perspective of both a parent and teacher, how is our program beneficial to our Hifdh kids?
As a parent, I believe that the program works well and is very beneficial to our hifdh kids. They have the atmosphere of a madrasah for the memorization and also have secular studies which should keep them up to date and ready to assimilate back into the regular classroom comfortably and ready to succeed. I believe there is a special barakah in memorizing the Quran and one can succeed in anything they are willing to put their efforts to afterwards. As a teacher, I witness this barakah as I see that most of the students are able to handle both of their studies without too much difficulty. There are some adjustments made here and there, and accommodations for individuals when necessary, but for the most part I see that they are succeeding. InshaAllah my prayer for all of them is that they become the carriers of His light and future luminaries for our Ummah.
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