68 Indiana Elementary Schools Advance in the Read to the Final Four Competition

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INDIANAPOLIS – Read to the Final Four, a literacy program organized by the NCAA and Indianapolis Host Committee for third grade students and classrooms across the state, announced its bracket competition field of 68 during the official Selection Show this morning.

More than 300 participating schools in 61 school districts across the state have logged minutes read since November, and the top 17 schools in each of the four regions advanced to the March Madness style tournament. Schools advanced to the tournament based on points awarded which take into consideration both the minutes read and the school size. This calculation ensures that all schools are competing on a level playing field. The four regions are named after Indiana basketball legends Quinn Buckner, Calbert Cheaney, Katie Douglas and George Hill.

Caston Elementary School from Rochester took the top seed in the George Hill Region with 43,457 minutes read and garnered 108,640 points. In the Quinn Buckner Region, Forest Dale Elementary School in Carmel read 105,923 minutes and tallied 96,292 points to lead the region. Taking the number one seed in the Katie Douglas Region, Brooklyn Elementary School in Mooresville tabbed 87,640 points after reading 35,057 minutes. To round out the top seeds, Fort Wayne's Glenwood Park Elementary School read 137,835 minutes and earned 153,148 points which leads all participating schools in the bracket.

The Read to the Final Four Selection Show was an hour-long program hosted by Indianapolis Local Organizing Committee Co-Chairs Quinn Buckner and Katie Douglas. The show featured the highly anticipated bracket reveal in addition to live look ins to eight classrooms from the participating schools.

The official competition tips off Monday, Feb. 1, with each week representing a different round of the tournament. The competition timeline for each round is as follows:

Round of 68: Feb. 1 - Feb. 7
Round 64: Feb. 8 - Feb. 14
Round of 32: Feb. 15 - Feb. 21
Sweet Sixteen: Feb. 22 - Feb. 28
Elite Eight: March 1 - March 7
Final Four: March 8 - March 14

Schools from the Final Four teams will receive a library refresh. The top four readers of the entire tournament will receive a new bicycle and helmet.

“Read to the Final Four uses friendly competition to promote literacy and make students better readers” said JoAn Scott, NCAA managing director of men’s basketball. “We are thrilled to offer a chance for Indiana students to be a part of March Madness and advance to the Final Four just like their favorite teams.”

Read to the Final Four launched in November 2020 as part of the 2021 NCAA Final Four’s statewide community engagement programming. Since November, more than 4 million minutes have been read by participating schools. Schools that do not make the tournament, will continue to have access to the digital literacy platform that provides access to books and tracks time spent reading. Funding for the Read to the Final Four was provided by the Indy Championships Fund.

“Read to the Final Four is an exciting opportunity to engage third graders from throughout the state in Final Four programs,” said Katie Douglas, co-chair of the Indianapolis Local Organizing Committee. “The impact of the 2021 Final Four will go well beyond the baselines, and provides our community a vehicle to drive and promote initiatives that will create positive impact on our youth.”

For more information on Read to the Final Four and the 2021 Final Four visit www.NCAA.com/FinalFour.

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