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Partnerships Bring Opportunity for Fun to Students Under the Big Top

April 06, 2018

Thanks to the Hillsborough Alliance of Black School Educators (HABSE), the UniverSoul Circus gave some lucky students at Booker T. Washington Elementary School a sneak peek with a mini-circus right on their campus on Tuesday, March 27. Students were also given free tickets to enjoy the circus under the big top for their first show on Thursday.

One hundred students from B.T. Washington Elementary School were given tickets to see the best circus ever and over a dozen schools throguhout Hillsborough created a field trip opporunity thanks to UniverSoul. School Board Vice Chair, Tamara Shamburger kicked off the show as Honorary Ringmaster, creating the right amount of energy to get the festivities started. Eyes and mouths were wide open as students watched camels and zebras perform in sync, motorcycles flip high into the sky and contortionists bend their bodies in ways that seem impossible.

After the show, Caspers Company joined HABSE by providing the students with lunch from McDonalds when they arrived back to school.

"HABSE has been busy hosting student forums that provide students an opportunity to engage in active discussions about Career Pathways and partnering with the community to make it possible for UniverSoul Circus to give students a well-balanced academic and social experience of a lifetime. At this time we're making preparations to host our 26th annual African American Achievers awards ceremony, where we recognize 800 seniors for their academic achievements. HABSE remains committed to supporting student achievement and ensuring that minority students gain access to unique opportunities and experiences," said HABSE Board Member and Communications and Marketing Specialist for Hillsborough Schools Division of Operations Jessica Vega.  

HABSE connected with UniverSoul to raise funds via a discounted ticket for the opening night show, a $1.00 from each ticket sold was donated to the HABSE Scholarship Foundation. 

"For the past 26 years, we have had the honor  of recognizing graduating seniors at the HABSE Annual African-American Achievers Awards Ceremony.  The proceeds from the UniverSoul Circus fundraiser will assist us in providing college scholarships to some of the brightest students in the county," said Bridgette Blake, President of HABSE and Assistant Principal at Greco Middle School.

This partnership was made possible by HABSE, School Board Vice Chair Tamara Shamburger, Big Word from 1150 WTMP, and TaxPro of Tampa Bay. And Behind-the-scenes, the district’s operations department worked hard by setting up the circus staging, and coordinated bus routes to get students from school to the circus and back to school after the show, all in an effort to provide meaningful experiences for our students.

Not only did B.T. Washington’s students enjoy the show, but over a dozen field trips took place at the circus with schools across the district, including the male Mentoring Networking Groups in Hillsborough County, run by great Ross Anderson. These young boys and girls were given an opportunity to bond with their teachers and peers while being entertained- an opportunity they may not have had without the support from those who made this possible. 

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