NCAA Kids - Youth Events

The following programs are official community youth events as designated by the NCAA.

Powerade NCAA Youth Clinics - University of Houston, Houston Baptist University, Texas Southern University & Reagan High School (8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)

Saturday, April 2

The NCAA Youth Clinics are a community outreach program that connects kids, ages 8–16, with the basketball championship and provides them with resources designed to have a lasting impact. Participants receive sport instruction from NCAA coaches and student-athletes and get valuable information on fitness, healthy lifestyles and sportsmanship. The clinics also feature a session for parents and guardians with information on recruiting, eligibility and youth sport issues. Online registration is available (http://www.ncaa.com/youthclinics).

NCAA Final Four Dribble presented by Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award - Houston City Hall /George R. Brown Convention Center (2 p.m.)

Sunday, April 3 (Rain or Shine)

Basketball fans, 18 and under, will have the opportunity to dribble from Houston City Hall to the George R. Brown Convention Center (located on Avenida de las Americas). Participants will receive a free basketball and t-shirt courtesy of the NCAA, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, Wilson Sporting Goods and the Houston Local Organizing Committee. Participants wearing their Final Four Dribble t-shirt and wristband will also receive free admission to Bracket Town refreshed Coca-Cola Zero on the event day. Only one parent/guardian per child will be admitted free into Bracket Town refreshed by Coca-Cola Zero on event day. Participants must be present to receive complimentary items and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Online registration is available at http://2011ncaaffd.theregistrationsystem.com

NCAA Middle School Madness

The Middle School Madness program provides an excellent opportunity to bring the excitement of the 2011 NCAA Final Four into the classroom as a stimulating teaching and learning opportunity, and to celebrate the role of the city of Houston in hosting this event. The program is comprised of an educational curriculum, developed by the NCAA. More than 8,000 students from 16 Houston-area middle schools will participate in the program. The winners can be seen here.

NCAA Final Four and the NABC Ticket to Reading Rewards

The NCAA has teamed with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) to support the Ticket to Reading Rewards (TTRR) program in Final Four cities. The TTRR curriculum was designed as an incentive program that encourages middle school students to read books outside the classroom and obtain rewards for reading. Since 2002 students have read over 5.5 million books, obtained over 1.6 million rewards, and attended 200,000 local men’s and women’s NCAA basketball games, all at no cost to the school district or its students. In Houston, the Ticket to Reading Rewards program will reach approximately 15,000 students in the 12 schools within the Houston Independent School District. More information can be found on the program by visiting the Web site (www.tickettoreadingrewards.org).

NCAA Men’s Final Four Career in Sports Forum (Saturday, February 19)

The NCAA Men’s Final Four Career in Sports Forum will enlist professionals from all aspects of the sports industry to inform, educate and enlighten high school juniors and college students on athletic and non-athletic sports career options. The 500 attendees will also visit with representatives from local universities and sports industry organizations.

2011 NCAA Men’s Final Four Friday Youth Day (Friday, April 1)

The NCAA Final Four Friday Youth Day event will provide Houston area youth the opportunity to embrace the values of education, sports and community involvement. Final Four Friday Youth Day will consist of approximately 400 selected middle school aged students as participants. Local volunteers and student-athletes from Rice University, University of Houston, Texas Southern University and Houston Baptist University will also assist with the event. The morning educational session will be focused in the areas of life skills, healthy living, character development, leadership, diversity and community involvement. Following lunch, the group will then be escorted to Reliant Stadium to take part in the Final Four Friday festivities.

NCAA Community Partners - Service Events

Food Recovery Program. Final Four Food Recovery Program

The NCAA and the Houston Local Organizing Committee will team with Bering-Omega House, Bo’s Place, Chinese Community Center, Houston Area Women’s Center, Open Door Mission, Salvation Army, SEARCH and Star of Hope-eight to conduct a Food Recovery Program in conjunction with the Men’s Final Four. The program will direct remaining food from hospitality events held during the Final Four week to local charities, homeless shelters and other community organizations.

NCAA, NABC and Samaritan’s Feet

The NCAA, the National Association of Basketball Coaches’ and Samaritan’s Feet have teamed during Final Four week to distribute 2,011 pairs of shoes to kids in need throughout the Houston community. Samaritan's Feet is a humanitarian non-profit relief organization dedicated to taking a life-changing message of hope and equipping the feet of impoverished children in the U.S. and around the world with shoes. Its goal is to provide 10 million pairs of shoes for 10 million impoverished people in 10 years. (www.samaritansfeet.org).

NCAA and Feed the Hungry

Feed the Hungry is a humanitarian relief organization that has been serving people for over 22 years. Through the Feed the Hungry efforts over 200 million dollars of food and relief supplies have been distributed in 92 nations of the world. Feed the Hungry perform both emergency and targeted relief here in the United States and overseas while feeding over 24,000 children daily. Feed the Hungry's success is largely due to the generous support of their partners, churches, and strong network of International Offices. When there is a need to provide relief to those in need due to famine, drought, flood, war, or other natural disaster you can usually count on Feed the Hungry to be there. During the week of the Final Four, Feed the Hungry will provide 2011 food boxes to help Houston families in need. (www.feedthehungry.org)

NCAA and the Tyler Ugolyn Foundation

The NCAA and The Tyler Ugolyn Foundation will partner to refurbish the MD Anderson YMCA gymnasium during Final Four week. The foundation was established in memory of Tyler Ugolyn, an outstanding NCAA student athlete at Columbia University, mentor and friend, who shared a lifelong love of basketball with the world before his tragic passing September 11, 2001. The foundation is committed to supporting youth basketball, with an emphasis on court refurbishment, skills clinics and financial support for character-building educational programs aimed at children in urban settings. iHoops will conduct a free youth basketball clinic in conjunction with the court dedication ceremony on Sunday, April 3 at 11 a.m. For more information about iHoops go to www.ihoops.com.

NCAA Final Four Seat Cushion Program

In celebration of the Girl Scouts Centennial Anniversary, the NCAA will invite the Girl Scouts to participate in a service opportunity the week of the Final Four. The Girl Scouts will place seat cushions sponsored by Capitol One on 76,000 seats in Reliant Stadium in preparation for the semifinal games.

Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Access Program

The Final Four MWBE Access Program is designed to provide local minority and women-owned businesses access to Final Four procurement opportunities. Participation in the program does not guarantee receipt of Final Four contracts. The programs purpose is to educate local businesses about the process, opportunities available and provide exposure to other procurement opportunities.

Final Four Legacy Program

Stars 4 Tomorrow

The Legacy Program’s mission is to establish a program for Houston’s underprivileged youth, which ensures their graduation from high school, provides college readiness, and rewards them with financial support to attend college. The target demographic for the Stars 4 Tomorrow program is at-risk teens currently attending four HSID middle schools: Frank Black Middle School, James Deady Middle School, Richard Dowling Middle School and Thomas Middle School. The program will follow 100 eighth grade students from each of the four selected schools beginning in the Fall of 2011 through to their high school graduation date in 2016. Each student that completes the program will be eligible to receive a $500 college scholarship for each year they participate in the program and proof of enrollment in an accredited two or four year college. The program will also provide the students with after-school tutoring, field trips for career exposure, career assessments, standardized test preparation and community service.