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The competition was fierce down to the final buzzer, but Dogan ES came out victorious after scoring a whopping 922,464 minutes in reading time during the NCAA Read to the Final Four Literacy competition.
Dogan ES Principal Tarrieck Rideaux beamed with pride Friday amid cheering, hand-waving, and fanfare at NRG Stadium, where 10,000 HISD students, some representing the Final Four schools – Browning ES, Carrillo ES, Dogan ES and Janowski ES, gathered for the announcement of the winner. Rideaux said six months of intensive reading had paid off for his third-graders.
“It has actually helped their reading growth,” said Rideaux. “Stronger growth over the last few months – more than we’ve ever had.”
The top four schools read a total of 2,695,728 minutes since the competition began in September, and all schools netted 9,128,176 minutes read.
Dogan ES was awarded a Final Four trophy and a $5,000 cash prize. On Monday, there will be a celebration at the campus.
“I was excited when they announced our name, and I screamed.” said Dogan fourth-grader Luigi Marquez. “I was proud that we won.”
Courtside VIPS on hand to celebrate the students’ accomplishments included HISD Board of Education Trustees Wanda Adams, Diana Dávila, and Anna Eastman, as well as HISD Chief Academic Officer Andrew Houlihan and Houston Final Four Local Organizing Committee Chairman Tony Chase.
“I am so excited to be here and to rock the ‘Road to the Final Four.’ I want to personally thank all 68 schools for reading over 9 million minutes. You all need to be applauded,” said Trustee Adams. “And congratulations to Dogan Elementary School for reading all those hours. So again, congratulations Team HISD.”
The NCAA Read to the Final Four Literacy competition, which supported the HISD Literacy By 3 initiative, challenged HISD third-graders to read more books than other competing schools and started with 68 schools. Nearly 6,800 third-graders helped kick off the bracket-themed reading contest that encouraged students to read at least 30 minutes a day.