All Boston Kindergartners to receive $50 savings accounts at start of school year

The mayor of Boston announced Monday that every kindergartener in the city’s public school system will receive a savings account, complete with a starting $50 balance this fall at beginning of the school year.

TEACHER SURPRISED BY HER KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS AT WEDDING

Mayor Marty Walsh said Boston Saves, a pilot program which has benefited about a dozen schools since 2016, is slated to reach all Boston public schools by Fall 2019. The city will then take steps to expand the program to charter schools. The initiative aims to increase college and career access by supporting low income families in saving and planning for their children’s future.

“Every child deserves to hear the message ‘We believe in you and you can do anything’ from the first minute they walk through our school doors,” Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said in an online video message. “I encourage every family whose child is entering kindergarten this year to participate so they can take advantage of all of the wonderful benefits of the program.”

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Families can earn up to an extra $65 from the city during the first year if they regularly contribute to the account, Walsh said. The accounts will become available when the student graduates high school and are meant to help pay for college or career training.

Boston Saves provides parents with access to an online portal to track their savings progress. Program partners, which include non-profits and financial institutions, also connect families with college planning resources for their children, Boston News Group reported. Some 1,600 students have benefited from the initiative’s earlier effort since its 2016 inception.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.