You are here

NCAA Readers Become Leaders program teams with IUPUI

More than 3,000 Indianapolis third-graders to attend men’s basketball game Friday

More than 3,000 Indianapolis third-grade students representing Pike and Lawrence township schools and the Indianapolis Public Schools system will celebrate reading while attending the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis men’s basketball game against Wright State. The game to support the NCAA Team Works Readers Become Leaders literacy program is 11 a.m. Friday at Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

The NCAA Readers Become Leaders program provides third-grade students with incentives, motivation and activities to encourage them to increase their reading proficiency and to maintain grade-appropriate reading levels. Having the students attend a college basketball game is an example of a fun, motivational tactic to keep them interested in reading. The program also has worked with local universities and school systems to host reading pep rallies for the students this academic year.

The IUPUI matchup also will feature game promotions and targeted messages about reading at each timeout. Indianapolis WISH television sportscaster Anthony Calhoun will host a special halftime program for the third-graders to motivate them to read more and to provide encouragement as they prepare for Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress-Plus the next week. Scholastic Inc. also has teamed with IUPUI and the Readers Become Leaders Program to provide each third-grade student who attends the IUPUI game with a new book.

“We are extremely excited about bringing more than 3,000 third-grade students to an IUPUI basketball game where they can see NCAA student-athletes in competition, while also thinking about improving their reading skills,” said Victor Hill, associate director of NCAA Team Works. “We hope that centering game promotions and timeout messaging around the importance of reading will also keep the students motivated when they return to the classroom. We’ve been strategic this year with our initiatives and outreach, especially around diverse populations, so we hope the third-graders enjoy themselves at the game and also do well with their upcoming ISTEP testing.”

“We are delighted to partner with the NCAA and the schools throughout Central Indiana to promote the importance of reading,” said Roderick Perry, IUPUI director of athletics. “Our student-athletes are good examples of how reading has assisted them with being successful students, beginning at a young age. Reading allows students to build upon their imagination and creativity while exposing them to new things.”

The NCAA Readers Become Leaders program and WISH television’s literacy program, I Love to Read, also partnered on a reading challenge this year to encourage third-graders to read more books during class. The third-grade class whose students tally the most minutes of reading by the end of March will receive a prize.

Additional community partners with the NCAA Readers Become Leaders Program include Butler and UIndy. NCAA Team Works also has taken Readers Become Leaders to school systems in cities that host NCAA championships and has reached more than 100,000 youths through general reading programs over the past four years