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Fifth- and sixth-grade students at Streator’s Northlawn Junior High School attended a field trip to Gamma Phi Circus on the campus of Illinois State University. Students were eligible to attend based on good behavior and grades for third quarter.
The performance was special because it was the 25th annual Gamma Phi Circus Morning Show. According to Wikipedia, “Gamma Phi Circus, sponsored by Illinois State University, is the oldest collegiate circus in the United States. It began as the Gamma Phi fraternity, founded in 1929 by ISU gymnastics instructor Clifford ‘Pop’ Horton.
“The fraternity’s first circus performance took place in 1931. Gamma Phi Circus is a performing arts fraternal organization and is no longer affiliated with social fraternities or sororities and is a registered student organization. Membership is available by audition to all full-time ISU students, faculty and staff. Illinois State University and Florida State University are the only four-year universities that have full-fledged circuses.”
After the performance, the students ate lunch and then took a walk through the campus of ISU. For many of the students, it was their first time being on a college campus.
Fifth-grade teachers and students hosted a Pizza Hut night to raise money toward the ticket price, and sixth-grade students sold scented pencils and pens. Students were charged $5 to attend.
The next trip fifth- and sixth-grade students are taking will be to Dozer Stadium in Peoria to watch the Chiefs play.