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ravenous reader: Audubon boy earns $1,000 for college

DOTZ JOHNSON, left, with Dalton Dornbusch.

Dalton Dornbusch loves to read. During the summer reading program, he read 60 books. And not only did it enhance his reading skills and keep him fresh for school this fall, it also earned him money for college.

"It's really important for kids to read over the summer," Dotz Johnson, Detroit Lakes Library children's programs director, said. "Dalton was a big participant in our summer program."

Dalton, 7, of Audubon said he read everything from Magic Tree House to Boxcar Children to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. What was his favorite book he read over the summer?

"I don't remember," he said.

The Summer Reading Program is offered through Minnesota's libraries to encourage children to continue to read through the summer. The program has close to 100,000 children participating every year.

With his participation in the Summer Reading Program, Dalton also entered to win money for college. From 3,000 applicants, he was selected along with 14 other kids across Minnesota for a $1,000 "Destination College Savings" prize, courtesy of the Minnesota College Savings Plan.

"We appreciate the successful partnership between Minnesota's libraries and the Minnesota College Savings Plan," Renee Hill, program manager of the Minnesota College Savings Plan, said. "Minnesota parents benefit by learning more about saving for college and we hope the prize money can help winning parents get a head start on saving for their child's future college education."

The Minnesota College Savings Plan is the state's official 529 college savings plan administered by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

The plan offers tax advantages and flexible features for families saving for college, including the ability to use the plan at any eligible college, university or career school in the nation.

And if Dalton's win wasn't enough for him, he also earned the Detroit Lakes Library $500, since it was that library through which he did the Summer Reading Program.

Johnson said that money would go toward programming at the Detroit Lakes Library, more than likely a reading program.

A second grader at Lake Park-Audubon Elementary School, Dalton participated in the reading program for the first time this year.

His mom, Christine, had read to him in the past, but this was his first year going solo.

He said he reads every day.

"For a second grader, he's an excellent reader," Johnson said.

The Detroit Lakes Library is a branch of the Lake Agassiz Regional Library.