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Of the eight schools that advanced to the Elite Eight, only the Final Four remained standing on Feb. 5, during the Read to the Final Four Literacy Competition pep rally at the University of Houston’s (UH) Hofheinz Pavilion.
After an activity-filled morning that included a dance-off, a science experiment by UH professor Dr. Simon Bott, and lots of cheering (assisted by the UH cheerleaders), the Final Four schools were announced. They are:
- Dogan ES
- Carrillo ES
- Janowski ES
- Browning ES
“It was so much fun!” said third-grader Braniya Banks, from top team Dogan Elementary. “All of Dogan helped us log our time to win.”
The Read to the Final Four Literacy Competition began in the fall of 2015, with 6,800 third-graders participating. Since that time, they have logged 6.4 million minutes of reading and, according to the Houston Public Library, checked out more than 5,000 books from its shelves.
Approximately 800 students attended the pep rally, which aimed not just to inspire the students, but to reward them as well for all of their hard work.
The top reader from each of the 68 participating schools will receive a bicycle, courtesy of CYCLE (Changing Young Children’s Lives through Education). The winning school will also receive a monetary award.
“This is a great event,” said Rachel Quan, vice president of External Operations for the Final Four Houston Local Organizing Committee. “It’s the culmination of a lot of different partnerships with the Final Four and the local organizing committee, the NCAA, the Houston Public Library, Cycle, UH and, of course, HISD. There’s a lot of folks involved in seeing that these third-graders get more excited about reading.”
The remaining four schools will continue competing until the final event in April, when the top school will be announced. Students at the other 64 schools should not stop reading, though, as there may be additional prizes for the top individual readers.