Third-graders take reading skills to the court in NCAA Read to the Final Four


Sixteen campuses have advanced to the next round in the NCAA’s Read to the Final Four contest for Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) third-graders. The bracket-style reading competition is similar to the NCAA Final Four tournament schedule, with schools advancing based on how many minutes students read outside school hours.

Since reading efforts began in November, Dallas ISD third-graders have read a total of 521,411 minutes. Top readers Mireya Martinez (Harry Stone Montessori Academy), Jaqueline Santamaria (Jill Stone Elementary School), Daisy Navarro (Pleasant Grove Elementary School), and James Perez (Highland Meadows Elementary School) will receive certificates in recognition of reading the most minutes to date among all Dallas ISD third-graders.

Campuses receive prizes at each elimination round. The grand prize winner will be named the NCAA Read to the Final Four Champion on Friday, March 31. That campus will receive a library makeover valued at $2,000, Amazon Echo speakers for students in the top classroom, along with a $1,000 gift card for the class.  Additionally, the teacher of the top classroom will receive a laptop or tablet. The NCAA will also recognize Dallas ISD’s top reader. The student who read the most minutes in the program will receive two tickets to the NCAA Women’s Final Four, and a NCAA Women’s Final Four floor piece.

Schools that reached the Sweet 16 are now competing to make the Elite Eight, which will be announced on Feb. 15.

The following is a list of the Sweet 16 campuses:

John Neely Bryan Elementary School
Gilbert Cuellar, Sr. Elementary School
Henry B. Gonzalez Elementary School
Pleasant Grove Elementary School
Sam Houston Elementary School
John Ireland Elementary School
José “Joe” May Elementary
Highland Meadows Elementary School
Jerry Junkins Elementary School
Robert E. Lee Elementary School
Arturo Salazar Elementary School
J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard
Jill Stone Elementary School
Harry Stone Montessori Academy
T.G. Terry Elementary School
George Herbert Walker Bush Elementary School

All Dallas ISD third-graders are encouraged to participate and still have an opportunity to compete in the Top Reader Contest. Contest information can be found at:

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