Crowds are descending on the American Airlines Center for this weekend’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four, but first, Dallas ISD students visited Tourney Town, an NCAA fan exhibit, where students were recognized for top finishes in a five-month-long reading competition.
Third-graders at the top four district schools participating in the NCAA’s Read to the Final Four program attended a celebration Friday, March 31, at Tourney Town. The overall top-reading school and individual winners were recognized.
T.G. Terry Elementary School won the competition with 61 students who read an average of 1,841 minutes each. The school will receive $2,000 toward a school library refresh. Every third-grade student will receive Wilson NCAA Women’s Final Four backpacks.
The top classroom will receive a tablet, an Amazon Echo and a gift card for $1,000 and Jilma Selman, the teacher of that classroom, will have the option of either a laptop or a tablet.
Daisy Navarro from Pleasant Grove Elementary emerged as the top student after reading a total of 12,982 minutes over the course of the competition. She will receive a plaque, a tablet, two tickets to the NCAA Women’s Final Four, a Women’s Final Four Lucite Ticket and a Women’s Final Four floor piece.
NCAA Teams Works partnered with the Dallas Local Organizing Committee and the DISD to support the Read to the Final Four program, which started in November. Since then, the students at 44 schools have read a grand total of 1,107,420 minutes outside of school hours. Also in the final four were Highland Meadows Elementary School and José “Joe” May Elementary School. The final four schools read a collective total of 420,824 minutes.
Throughout the competition, the Read to the Final Four program used a bracket-style literacy challenge to inspire accelerated reading and increase classroom achievement. Each school advanced based off the total number of minutes they read.
The goal of the Read to the Final Four program is to support national literacy efforts aimed at ensuring students are reading at the proper level before entering the fourth grade. It also provides an engagement opportunity for NCAA colleges, universities, local organizing committees and community partners to collaborate with local school districts, providing the children and families with greater support.