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The NCAA is committed to leaving a legacy for all communities that host a championship. Working alongside the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee, the NCAA will host free youth programs, sustainability programs, enhance an afterschool program for local kids and build a community park.
i play! afterschool, San Antonio Sports’ innovative afterschool program that ignites a love of sport in 3rd through 5th graders, while teaching them life lessons about active living, good nutrition and strong personal character. During the 2017-18 school year, i play! afterschool will serve 1,125 children in 45 elementary schools in San Antonio and Harlandale school districts. They will participate in five, 5-week sports development sessions to now include basketball thanks to the NCAA. The basketball unit will culminate in a fun tournament where the kids can demonstrate their new skills and parents, family and friends can cheer them on. The final four advancing schools will compete for the championship trophy on center court at Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One on Good Friday of Final Four weekend where all i play! afterschool participants will be invited for a free morning of play in this interactive fan zone. All 2018 i play! afterschool students will receive a special basketball jersey, a basketball, and Final Four Fan Fest tickets for their family.
Data has shown that when people have access to parks, they exercise more and are more likely to exercise if they live within 1 mile of a park. As a part of the Final Four’s lasting legacy on the community, The NCAA will work in conjunction with San Antonio Sports SCHOOL PARKS program which turns public school property, into neighborhood parks to be enjoyed by the community, outside of school hours.
The NCAA will help in revitalizing land cleared by FEMA with flood zone designation into a park for the neighboring school and the surrounding community. Higgs Carter King is a K-8 charter school on San Antonio’s near west side. The school currently has no convenient playground area for the students. Through a collaborative effort with San Antonio Sports, the NCAA, San Antonio Parks & Recreation and Youth Empowerment Services a new park will be erected on land across the street from the school’s campus. The new park will be home to a basketball court, soccer field and walking trails.
This spring, third grade students will be invited to compete in a bracket style literacy challenge geared to inspire accelerated reading and increase classroom achievement. This three-month competition will advance schools through the bracket by the number of minutes read. Students will compete against other San Antonio schools and one school will be crowned a champion. With support from local education partners, the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee is excited to tipoff such an impactful city-wide program providing students access to digital books and reading resources.
Haven for Hope is a 22-acre living campus west of Downtown San Antonio, which serves the city’s homeless population. The campus has two covered basketball courts that will serve as a location for a special basketball clinic for the children living on campus. The goal is to have 75-100 from the campus participate in the clinic in addition to providing transportation to them and their families to the Final Four Dribble for a chance to experience the Final Four.
The San Antonio Local Organizing Committee and sustainably committee consisting of various city partners will assist in the leading and organizing of projects that strive to ensure an environmentally responsible event. The goal of the sustainability committee is to reach Verde level certification, the highest level of San Antonio’s green city ordinance.