By John Lynds
The Boston Public Schools and East Boston Savings Bank kicked off Mayor Martin Walsh’s Office of Financial Empowerment’s Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program last Wednesday at the James Otis and Donald McKay Elementary Schools.
The two Eastie schools join three other schools in Boston in launching the new CSA program designed to give families the opportunity to create a long-term savings plan for college, post-secondary education and training.
The event began with volunteers from Read Boston reading a book to the students at both schools about the importance of saving money. Then, the EBSB Mobile Banking truck arrived were bank staff handed out piggy banks with $5 seed money so students and families can begin saving as part of CSA.
“We are honored to be a part of this program with Boston Saves and the City of Boston,” said EBSB Chairman, CEO and President Richard Gavegnano. “We greatly support the initiative and goal to develop and promote a college-going culture and provide opportunities to build the financial capabilities of Boston’s children, families, and communities. We will continue to support the growth and knowledge of this program, and support Mayor Walsh in his vision for our Boston students.”
Possessing a children’s savings account can positively impact children’s and families’ mindsets towards post-secondary education and training.
“The James Otis community is grateful to be one of the five schools launching the College Savings Account Program from Mayor Walsh’ office,” said Otis Principal Paula Goncalves. “This is a great opportunity for our parents, and students to make their goals of attending college more affordable and attainable. This program will leave a lasting effect on not only the children of Boston but on the City of Boston as well. The vision and support from the office of Mayor Walsh, Read Boston and East Boston Savings Bank has been overwhelming today. I challenge and encourage additional community agencies and business partners to reach out and support this investment in our children’s future.”
According to Trinh Nguyen, director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, research suggest that CSAs are an effective tool in impacting higher education outcomes. She said families with CSAs are more likely to see college as a goal for their children, and 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 and four times more likely to graduate from college.
“Preparing for educational and career paths are so compelling when it is integrated at an early age,” said Nguyen. “Every child, regardless of income, race, and gender deserves to make their dream of post-secondary education and college come true. The CSA is a powerful tool to align community partners, parents, teachers and students’ to work towards building this culture.”
Otis kindergarten teacher Julia Trainor said the CSA program is an amazing program.
“We are really excited to have this program here at the Otis,” said Trainor. “we always encourage our students to dream big and work hard and on every classroom door we have their college graduation year posted and lots of college banners. This program is not only a great opportunity to teach kids about college and continuing their education but also a great way for the families to get involved and start thinking about a savings account for their children and start making those types of decisions.”
In a statement Mayor Walsh said, “One of the most important things we can do for our children in the City of Boston is put them on a pathway to success by bridging education and financial opportunities, and planning in advance for their future. A Children’s Savings Account is a tool that every family should have access to and I am thrilled to launch this pilot program to help level the playing field for students of all backgrounds and make their dreams of college and post-secondary education become a reality.”
East Boston Savings Bank staff hand out piggy banks with $5 to students at the James Otis School as seed money for college. The Otis and Donald McKay schools kicked off the city’s Children’s Savings Account (CSA) designed to give families the opportunity to create a long-term savings plan for college, post-secondary education and training.
Students at the Otis School in East Boston hold up their piggy banks with $5 provided by East Boston Savings Bank.
Volunteers from Read Boston read children’s books about saving money at the event.
Students and staff at the James Otis School pose with East Boston Savings Bank staff in front of the EBSB Mobile Banking truck.