Fourth grader reads his way to the Super Bowl

7:08 PM, Jan 30, 2014   |    comments
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DENVER - Everyone knows that reading can take you places through words and imagination. For a student at College View Elementary, it will take him to the Super Bowl thanks to the Mile High United Way.

"This is the mission of the United Way and this little boy is a very special little boy who has worked so hard," Christine Benero, president and CEO of the Mile High United Way, said.

At the elementary school in southwest Denver, Mario Dominguez was surprised during an assembly at the school. The fourth grader has read more than 200 hours on his own at home, far more than any of his classmates.

"When I start concentrating on a chapter book without looking (anywhere), it drags me into the book," Mario said.

He was called in front of hundreds of students when Benero handed him the tickets and told him and his mother that they are receiving an expense-paid trip to New Jersey to attend the big game.

"I thought they were lying," Mario said.

His mother, Claudia Chavez Estrada, was told earlier to prepare for the trip.

"When the principal told me, ah, oh my God," Chavez Estrada said. "I'm so happy. I'm so excited for him, for me. I'm happy."

Mario knows this is an expensive gift. United Airlines donated the plane tickets.

"(My mom) didn't have to spend a single penny," Mario said.

Benero says this is part of a program called Power Lunch at the school where volunteers come in to meet with students and help get them excited about reading.

"Because you never know where it will take them and this time, it's taking Mario to the Super Bowl," Benero said.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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