To foster a love for reading and increase reading scores in our region, U. S. Steel has partnered with the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and developed the Reading Champions program to encourage students to be champions of reading.

Launched in 2021, Reading Champions encourages 3rd grade students to be champions of reading by challenging each child to read for just 20 minutes a day (the length of a hockey period.)  Along the way, students can work to achieve Rookie, 1st Line & MVP levels. With each level met, the class earns prizes and at the end of each season, students tally up their 'scores' and the room with the most minutes read is awarded the "Steel Cup," a perpetual trophy made by U. S. Steel employees with steel made in the Mon Valley. Each student also receives a personalized steel medal.  


Reading Champions Students
In its pilot year, Reading Champions enrolled more than 200 students from West Mifflin School District and Propel Charter Schools. 

Now in its 3rd year, over 600 3rd graders in the Mon Valley and surrounding schools districts are beginning the program for the first time.  

Since launch, students have logged over 1 million minutes of reading...and that figure is growing!  This year, 32 classrooms have launched Reading Champions across the Pittsburgh region and include Clairton, Duquesne, Propel Charter, West Mifflin, Wilkinsburg and Woodland Hills school districts. 
Minutes Read

Books Donated
To date, over 1,104 books have been donated to schools within our region to encourage students to be champions of reading.

At the start of each season, U. S. Steel employees hold a kick-off event, coming together to write inspirational messages to encourage kids to do their best.  


In 2022, students in the West Mifflin Area School District who completed improved their reading proficiency scores by 20%. 
Improvement in Reading Proficiency

Media Gallery


Reading Champions!
Champion Class 22/23
Champion Class 21/22

Champs w/medals
Champions Rally
Steel Cup at Edgar Thomson blast furnace
Champions at a Pens Game
Iceburgh Visit
Book Signing
Book Signing
Messages for the Kids
Program Prizes