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Arizona elementary schools participate in ‘Read to the Final Four’ competition

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Many Valley elementary schools are participating in a new literacy program hosted by the 2017 NCAA Final Four and the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee.

Read to the Final Four is an initiative trying to inspire third-graders throughout the state to improve their reading levels and increase their achievement.

“We have been working for years as a community to prepare for this historic event – the first Final Four in Arizona and the first in the West since 1995,”  Dawn Rogers, executive director of the Phoenix Local Organizing said in a press release.

ASU Preparatory Academy, Ed & Verma Pastor Elementary School, Anthem School, Apache Elementary School and Harmon Elementary School are some of the schools selected to continue to the first round of reading.

Initially, 394 schools across the state applied to be a part of the program, but officials chose 68 to move forward.

The program is also a reading contest to see which school has the highest reading average. The competition is set up like a March Madness tournament bracket.

During the competition, schools will have access to 5,500 digital books through the myOn personalized literacy environment.

The winning school will be named the statewide reading champion at the Final Four celebration in downtown Phoenix on March 31.

Individual students who have the top reading averages on myOnn will also be recognized.

Final Four will be played April 1 and April 3 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.