Miami Kindergartners Eligible For New Savings Accounts — And Up To $50 Deposits To Start
November 12, 2019
By: Jessica Bakeman
This story originally appeared on WLRN.org
JoLyn Dixon registers her daughter Arianna Dorvil, 5, for a new savings account during an event at Santa Clara Elementary in Allapattah. Credit: Jessica Bakeman
Kindergartners attending public elementary schools in the city of Miami will soon get an early financial boost: a savings account with a deposit of up to $50.
Starting this school year, about 2,300 kindergartners in Miami's 30 elementary schools will be eligible for the accounts thanks to Future Bound Miami, a new program launched by a coalition of local nonprofits. Students in charter schools do not qualify.
Within five years, the nonprofit leaders hope to expand the program to include all kindergartners in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
The new initiative aims to help more Miami students attain higher education. Students with even small savings accounts are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate, according to research from the University of Kansas.
"It's a modest investment up front," Miami-Dade County Public Schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho said during a launch event at Santa Clara Elementary School in Allapattah. "With time and intentionality, it will grow into an opportunity towards equity and access of young children who are often shut out of college and universities."
In the initial phase, the city of Miami will be contributing the funds for the seed deposits, which will be $25 or $50, depending on students’ financial need. The funding is for kindergartners who attend elementary schools that feed into the city's five high schools: Booker T. Washington Senior High, Edison Senior High, Jackson Senior High, Northwestern Senior High and Miami Senior High.
"We want to make sure we have a Miami that's not just here forever but that it's here for everyone, and the way to do that is to invest in our children," Miami mayor Francis Suarez said during the news conference. "We're doing that today with dollars."
Jo-Lyn Dixon registered her 5-year-old daughter Arianna Dorvil, a Santa Clara kindergartner, for an account. Dixon said it will help her teach her daughter about financial responsibility.
"I love how easy it is to deposit the money whenever you feel like it," Dixon said. "And I like the idea that as she gets older, she might be able to put money in on her own account."
Parents of eligible kindergartners have a month to activate the free accounts. There are no fees and no minimum deposits or balances. Students cannot access the funding until they are 18.
Find more information here.
Mercedes Estrada registers her daughter Joe Nunez, a kindergartner at Santa Clara Elementary School, for a new savings account. Joe stands behind her with her dad, Ezequiel Nunez. Credit: Jessica Bakeman