Students at Dogan Elementary School enjoyed a special celebration held just for them on April 4, after winning HISD’s Read to the Final Four literacy challenge last week. The students logged more than 922,464 minutes of reading over the past six months to cement their victory, and the reward for their perseverance was sweet.
The multi-purpose room thumped to the sounds of hip hop music, provided courtesy of DJ GT Mayne and 97.9 The Box radio station, as students showed off their dribbling skills, shot hoops at the portable basketball nets, and challenged each other with the latest dance moves. A lunch of chicken fettuccine, fresh fruit, and garlic bread was served by HISD Nutrition Services.
Third-grader Karla Gonzalez received a brand new bicycle from CYCLE Houston for having read the more than any of her classmates at Dogan. CYCLE donated the bikes to every top reader in each of the 68 participating schools.
Her favorite book during the competition? “I really liked ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’,” said Karla, grinning.
The NCAA Read to the Final Four Literacy competition, which supported the HISD Literacy By 3 initiative, challenged HISD third-graders to read at least 30 minutes a day and attempt to read more books than other competing schools. Nearly 6,800 third-graders participating in the literacy competition logged a total of 9,128,176 minutes of reading time.
“This group of third-graders has worked extremely hard. And for many of them at home, reading wasn’t always a priority,” said Dogan coordinator/teacher specialist Ben Gibb. “But they really teamed up together to work hard and win the competition.”
Dogan students were also presented with t-shirts, pencil cases, cups, notepads and other goodies thanks to sponsors NCAA Final Four, and the Houston Public Library.
“We really wanted to give them a chance to enjoy their win,” said Gibb. “How often in life do you get a chance to have hard work pay off in such a concrete way as what they’re getting right now?”