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'Million Dollar' experience for Northlawn students

The Times invites educators to submit articles highlighting programs and activities happening in schools. For more information, email

Streator's Northlawn Junior High School eighth-grade students took a field trip to see the hit musical "Million Dollar Quartet" at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora on Oct. 19. 

"After being personally contacted by Melissa Striedl, general manager of the Paramount Theatre, I became excited about my dream of having Northlawn’s eighth-graders experience the wonderment of a Broadway musical," said eighth-grade teacher Nancy Hepner. "Upon presenting the idea to our principal, Gail Russell, it was decided this dream could happen and would definitely be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many of our students."

Each eighth-grader needed to qualify for the trip by completing a project in their language arts class pertaining to research about the four main historical figures of this play: Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley. Students designed posters, created booklets, presentations and group projects, adding to the background knowledge about these colorful performers, thereby creating excitement among the students for seeing this live performance.

"Million Dollar Quartet" is the story of how on Dec. 4, 1956, a twist of fate brought four legendary talents together for a once-in-a-lifetime event.

In other Northlawn news, the Streator Grade School Band-Aids and Schwan's Food Delivery are partnering to raise money for the grade school band program. Through Wednesday, March 14, the Band-Aids will receive a portion of proceeds from Schwan's food and e-card sales. Register to participate at using the code SGS Band-Aids.

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