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Children's savings account program Boston Saves awarded $150,000 grant

April 27, 2017

Workforce Development

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Workforce Development

The funding will help support a financial incentives program that encourages families to save for their children's future.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that Boston Saves, the City of Boston's children's savings account program, has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the Boston Foundation to help fund the next two years of its three-year pilot. The funding will help support a financial incentives program to encourage families to save for their children's future, an online platform where families can track their savings, and school programming around financial education and family engagement.

"Boston Saves has already reached 246 kindergartners, helping hundreds of Boston families expand their financial capabilities and setting up our children for a brighter future," said Mayor Walsh. "I thank the Boston Foundation for their partnership and shared vision to provide more opportunity for our city's children to succeed."

Mayor Walsh launched Boston Saves last fall with the goal of helping families of Boston Public Schools (BPS) kindergartners save money for their children's college or career training. Boston Saves provides each participating kindergartner with an account that is automatically seeded with $50. Using an online platform, families can also earn financial incentives for consistent saving and tracks all their savings for their child in one place. Participating schools host family events and classroom activities to promote saving as a fun, community-wide effort.

In the first year of its pilot, Boston Saves has so far provided seeded accounts to 246 kindergartners at five participating Boston Public Schools:

  • George H. Conley Elementary School in Roslindale
  • Harvard-Kent Elementary School in Charlestown
  • Donald McKay K-8 School in East Boston
  • James Otis Elementary School in East Boston
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park

The next two years of the pilot are projected to add another 1,100 children to the program. By Fall 2019, the initiative is slated to begin roll-out to all Boston's public school K2 kindergarten classes.

Research suggests that children's savings account programs can encourage college attendance and completion. Low-income children with $500 or less in a savings account dedicated to higher education have been shown to be three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate from college. By 2020, 77 percent of jobs in Boston are projected to require some form of post-secondary education or training.

"The Boston Foundation has long recognized that post-secondary education is a key driver of economic mobility and equity," said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. "We're proud to partner with the City of Boston in an effort that will help families plan for their children's future success at the very earliest stages in the education pipeline."

The Boston Foundation's $150,000 contribution marks a significant addition to the $800,000 that the Eos Foundation, the City of Boston, and other funders have invested in Boston Saves.

The Office of Workforce Development is an affiliate of the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

About the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development

The Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (OWD) is an innovative agency within the Boston Planning & Development Agency that seeks to ensure the full participation of all Boston residents in the city's economic vitality and future. The OWD funds and oversees programs that promote workforce development through education, jobs training, apprenticeships, financial coaching, career pathways, literacy initiatives, and the like. Please visit OWD.Boston.Gov to learn more about the OWD's work.

About The Boston Foundation

The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston's community foundation, is one of the largest community foundations in the nation, with net assets of some $1 billion. In 2016, the Foundation and its donors made $100 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of more than $107 million. In celebration of its Centennial in 2015, the Boston Foundation launched the Campaign for Boston to strengthen the Permanent Fund for Boston, the principal endowment fund focused on the most pressing needs of Greater Boston. The Foundation is proud to be a partner in philanthropy, with more than 1,000 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, think tank and advocacy organization, commissioning research into the most critical issues of our time and helping to shape public policy designed to advance opportunity for everyone in Greater Boston. The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI) The Philanthropic Initiative, a distinct operating unit of the Foundation, designs and implements customized philanthropic strategies for families, foundations and corporations around the globe. For more information about the Boston Foundation and TPI, visit tbf.org or call 617-338-1700.