Posted: Aug 29, 2016

Third Graders Get Assist From NCAA Final Four

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 Worksâ„¢, 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 Worksâ„¢ 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 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.

About the Phoenix Local Organizing Committee

The Phoenix Local Organizing Committee (PLOC) is a non-profit organization that is hosting the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four. The committee is comprised of Arizona business, tourism and sports leaders and will collaborate with the NCAA to support the Final Four's myriad of ancillary events and to establish legacy projects that will ensure the lasting impact of the Final Four in the Valley. The PLOC will raise funds to support the event and ensure that the 2017 Final Four sets a new standard of excellence. The 2017 Final Four will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., with the national semifinals on Saturday, April 1 and the national final on Monday, April 3, 2017.

About Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority

Formed as a result of voter approval of Prop. 302 in November 2000, AZSTA is responsible for owning and operating State Farm Stadium; funding tourism promotion in Maricopa County; funding the construction and renovation of Cactus League Spring Training facilities; and funding youth and amateur sports projects and programs. For more information about the Youth & Amateur Sports Grant Program, please contact AZSTA at 623.433.7500 or visit:
Kristen Pflipsen
Bagnato Pflipsen Communications
Andrew Bagnato
Bagnato Pflipsen Communications