Summer reading sweepstakes offers chances to win college savings

ATLANTA — While saving for college can be challenging, this summer it can be as easy as reading a book.

Children participating in Georgia Public Libraries Service’s summer literacy program can get a jump start on their academic future with summer reading, but they also earn an opportunity to win money for college through the Path2College 529 Plan’s Summer Reading Program Sweepstakes.

The state’s public library system has officially joined Path2College 529 Plan to kick-off the annual “Fizz-Boom, Save for College” campaign to encourage kids to read during the summer and remind parents and grandparents about the importance of saving for college.

Mitch Seabaugh, executive director of the Path2College 529 Plan, said that this year there will be more chances to win. He said winners will be selected randomly from the state’s 63 library systems.

Four regional winners will each win $1,529 towards a Path2College 529 Plan, and one grand prize winner will receive $5,529 towards the savings plan. Additionally, the library of the individual grand prize winner will receive $1,529, and the four libraries of the regional winners will each receive $529.

“This is a way for children to experience the joy of reading while gaining many academic benefits,” said Seabaugh. “They can also possibly win money towards their college savings. There’s really no downside to participating — it’s a win-win.”

Seabaugh said the goal is to familiarize residents with the state-sponsored 529 college savings plan and help families build a financial and academic foundation for the future.

More than 200,000 children and teens participated in the summer reading program last year.

Georgia State Librarian Dr. Lamar Veatch said the program cultivates a love for reading and learning year-round.

“This sweepstakes engages parents and children in a practical conversation about the importance continuing that education, as well as saving for the expenses related to going college,” said Veatch. “If we can help just a small percentage of the children we serve start a plan for their future, we will have been successful.”

The annual summer reading program is sponsored by Georgia Public Library Service and provides activities and programs for children throughout the summer. Prizes are awarded to all readers in the program.

To find a calendar of events and programs at library branches in Clayton County, visit www.claytonpl.org.

Parents, grandparents or legal guardians of a Georgia child can submit an online entry form through Aug. 10 for the Path2College 529 Plan sweepstakes online at www.path2college529.com.