Nearly 10,000 HISD elementary school students will fill NRG Stadium (Reliant Parkway, 77054) on Friday, April 1 for the district’s announcement of the winner of the NCAA Team Works Read to the Final Four Literacy Program at Reese’s Final Four Friday event.
The program begins at 11 a.m., but prior to that, Waltrip HS’s band will play as students arrive, and Atherton ES’s drum line will perform before the announcement of the winning school at 11:40 a.m., which will receive a $5,000 cash prize, Final Four trophy, and campus celebration. The final four elementary schools in the competition are Browning, Carrillo, Dogan, and Janowski. Additionally, the top readers from each of the 68 schools will receive a bike from CYCLE. Attendees are welcome to stay for the remainder of the day and watch special practice games and tributes. The day’s activities are free and open to the public, including parking in the stadium’s Blue Lot beginning at 9 a.m. Anything brought into the stadium during all Final Four events must be in a clear bag, due to security. Some 125,000 clear bags are being given away at Houston hotels and the George R. Brown Convention Center, as well as on METRORail platforms. Find full details here.
Read to the Final Four, a bracket-themed reading challenge, began in September with nearly 6,800 third-graders from 68 schools. Schools advanced in the literacy competition based on the amount of time their students spent reading. To date, students have logged more than 6.4 million minutes of reading time.
HISD Board of Education Trustees Wanda Adams, Diana Dávila, and Anna Eastman will attend the event, as well as HISD Chief Academic Officer Andrew Houlihan and Houston Final Four Local Organizing Committee Chairman Tony Chase.
The competition was created by the district in partnership with the Houston NCAA Final Four Local Organizing Committee, Houston Public Library, and University of Houston, as part of Houston’s selection as the host city for the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.
The literacy challenge is aligned with the district’s Literacy By 3 initiative, which aims to have every child reading on grade level by the end of third grade.