Read to the Final Four Initiative Celebrates 34,000 Arizona Third Graders Reading Over 6.1 Million Minutes

Author: Helios Education Foundation

Posted on: March 29, 2017

In January 2017, Helios Education Foundation and the Phoenix Final Four Local Organizing Committee, the nonprofit organization hosting Arizona’s inaugural NCAA Final Four championship, launched the Read to the Final Four initiative, a statewide reading competition for every third grader in Arizona. The competition mimics the March Madness bracket with schools around the state advancing every two weeks based on the number of minutes read.

To date, more than 34,000 Arizona third graders from 394 schools have accessed over 5,500 digital books and read more than 6.1 million minutes combined, using the online digital reading platform myOn. Some 1,300 third graders will gather at the Phoenix Convention Center on Friday, March 31, where the winning schools will be announced from the Read to the Final Four regional winners. The third graders will then celebrate their achievement at the Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One.

Read to the Final Four Regional Winners:
•    Arts Academy – Estrella Mountain – Tolleson, Arizona
•    Desert Mountain School – Desert Hills, Arizona (North Maricopa County – Anthem/Cave Creek)
•    Parkridge Elementary School – Peoria, Arizona
•    Mary C. O’Brien Elementary – Casa Grande, Arizona

Research shows that reading proficiently by the end of third grade is a bellwether for future academic success in middle school, high school and beyond. Helios Education Foundation invested in the Read to the Final Four initiative to inspire Arizona third graders about the importance of reading and to use the excitement surrounding the Final Four to encourage student achievement in the spirit of the Final Four competition.

Click here to read more about Read to the Final Four.

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