Aug 29, 2016

PHOENIX - More than 6,000 third graders in 60 Maricopa County Title I schools will receive backpacks filled with school supplies through a community project inspired by the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four®.

The Phoenix Local Organizing Committee (PLOC), which is collaborating with the NCAA to host the 2017 Final Four, provided the 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. The project is one of numerous community initiatives that will be undertaken as the Valley prepares to host the 2017 Final Four, set for April 1 and April 3, 2017 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.

"With the new school year starting, the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee is proud to work with NCAA Team Works™ and give a boost to these third graders at a pivotal time in their education," said Dawn Rogers, PLOC Executive Director/CEO. "We're grateful for the support of the NCAA on community projects that will ensure that the impact of the 2017 Final Four is felt long after the games have been played."

Read On Arizona assisted the PLOC to identify 60 schools in nine "Read On" communities that have focused on early literacy with an outcome of third grade reading proficiency. For more information, on Read On Arizona, visit

The schools qualify for Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which provides financial assistance 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.