South Washington County Schools

Liberty Ridge Elementary in the final round of Read to the Final Four

Photo of boy reading online
Third-grade students at Liberty Ridge Elementary School have made it to the final round of “Read to the Final Four,” a statewide reading competition that is sponsored by the Minneapolis Final Four Local Organizing Committee and the NCAA. Through the competition this school year, 149 students have read more than 20,500 books over a period of 267,000 minutes. In addition to the school’s accomplishment, six of these readers are also in the top 10 for total minutes logged the entire competition.
“Our students have been putting in long hours at school, before the school day, at home, on vacation and after school in order to move on in the competition,” said Amanda Weierke, a third-grade teacher at Liberty Ridge Elementary. “We have seen kids who were reluctant readers, low readers, high readers, and everyone in between jump onboard and show major excitement about reading!” 
The “Read to the Final Four” initiative gives students access to more than 5,800 digital books and allows them to track their books and minutes read through an online platform that teachers and parents can access. In order to make it to this point in the competition, the school has been hosting after-hours events for students to read, including in-person Read-A-Thons on the first Friday night of spring break and one on the morning of Sunday, March 10. 
“We are so proud of the grit, determination and pride our third graders have shown over the course of this competition,” said Weierke. “The families are all in and have been nothing but enthusiastic and supportive. The teachers are putting in time to ensure our students have every opportunity of winning a competition they have worked so hard for, even if that means coming in over spring break and on weekends. But the kids are the heroes in this!” 
Students will continue to work to read more than any of the other final four schools over their spring break, with teachers opening their classrooms for students on several days. School and individual winners of the competition will be announced during Final Four week in April.