The NCAA is committed to leaving a legacy for the community hosting Final Four. Working alongside the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee, the NCAA will host free youth events, special literacy, sustainability and restoration programs.
This spring, third grade students will compete in a bracket style literacy challenge geared to inspire accelerated reading and increase classroom achievement. This three-month statewide competition allows schools to advance through the bracket by the number of minutes read. Students will compete against other schools across the state and one school will be crowned a champion. With support from local education partners, the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee is excited to tipoff such an impactful state-wide program providing unlimited access to over 5,000 digital books and reading resources.
The NCAA Legacy Restorations project will refurbish an outdoor basketball court at Harmon Park, which annually serves more than 18,000 neighborhood children, many of them underprivileged. Harmon Park, located at 1239 S. Fifth Ave. in Phoenix, is a landmark in Phoenix basketball circles. It has attracted college and pro players looking for top-flight pickup competition and was used as a training facility by the Harlem Globetrotters. Along with organized basketball leagues, the park offers a variety of programs for children, including karate, arts and crafts, volleyball, soccer, kickball, pickleball, homework help and federal meal programs.
The Phoenix Local Organizing Committee provided 6,000 backpacks in a partnership with NCAA Team Works™, who represents the ongoing community outreach efforts of the NCAA national office staff, partners and local organizations.
“Read on Arizona” helped identify 60 schools to receive backpacks in nine “Read On” communities which focus on early literacy with an outcome of third grade reading proficiency. These schools qualify for Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which provides financial assistant to local educational agencies with high numbers or percentages of children from low-income families to ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.