kindergarteners sitting cross-legged
Roosevelt kindergarteners learn about saving from Miss Money and the Coins.

The pilot version of Boston Saves, the city’s new children’s savings account (CSA) program, rolled out eye-level with its beneficiary audience – kindergarteners – in early November to teach them about saving money.

At Roosevelt K-8 School in Hyde Park, Miss Money and the Coins performed skits and songs about the importance of saving and the “magic” of interest.

At McKay K-8 School in East Boston, the East Boston Savings Bank mobile bank truck rolled up to gift kindergarteners with their very own piggy banks stuffed with $5 bills.

A few blocks over, at Otis Elementary School, ReadBoston led a storytime reading of the book “Just Saving My Money” about a boy who does chores to save for a coveted skateboard.

Boston Saves may have launched at kid-height, but the program’s ambitions are lofty. By supplying kindergarterners with savings accounts for post-secondary education, the program aims to encourage a college-going culture among Boston’s children and families. Research shows that families with CSAs are more likely to see college as a goal for their children. In fact, low-income children with $500 or less in a savings account dedicated to higher education are shown to be three times more likely to enroll and four times more likely to graduate from college.

In addition to the CSAs, Boston Saves will provide families with a $50 seed in each account, an online platform to track savings online, opportunities to earn bonus savings, and financial literacy events to make saving fun.

long row of purple plastic piggy banks on a table
Piggy banks await their new K2 owners outside McKay School.

The pilot of Boston Saves, which currently also includes Conley Elementary School in Roslindale and Harvard-Kent Elementary School in Charlestown, will gradually grow over the next three years as the program is refined to meet parents’ and children’s needs. By Fall 2020, Boston Saves is slated to reach full expansion, available to all K2 kindergartners in Boston public or charter schools.

Read more about the Boston Saves rollout in East Boston schools.

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