Mayor Walsh has announced five Boston Public Schools that will participate in the pilot of the city’s new Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program. In Fall 2016, kindergarteners at Harvard/Kent Elementary School, James Otis Elementary School, McKay K-8 School, Franklin D. Roosevelt K-8 School, and Conley Elementary School will receive individual savings accounts, seeded with at least $50, to help them start saving for their futures. (Read more in the Boston Globe’s coverage of Mayor Walsh’s announcement.)

A major objective of the CSA program is to promote a “college-going culture,” particularly among those families, often low-income or otherwise marginalized, who may not view college as a realistic goal for their children. Research indicates that a student with up to $500 saved for higher education is three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate. Another primary objective of the CSA program is to provide financial education to these families.

By creating an inter-generational approach to saving and promoting college as a means of economic mobility, the CSA program serves as an integral piece of Mayor Walsh’s vision for addressing income inequality. In 2014, Mayor Walsh created the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) – the Office of Workforce Development department that oversees the CSA program – to link those seeking financial security and wealth generation with access to capital, financial education, and financial services.

The five participating schools, which serve the neighborhoods of Charlestown, East Boston, Hyde Park, and Roslindale, were selected from an open application process. The CSA pilot will lay the groundwork for the city-wide rollout of the CSA program, expected in Fall 2019.