Washtenaw County first- through fifth-graders will have a jumpstart on a savings account through a new program called My Future Fund
. The initiative was officially launched May 19 with an information session for parents and an assembly for children at Erickson Elementary School in Ypsilanti Township.
Each pupil who was enrolled in a Washtenaw County public school or academy as of October 2022 is eligible to be enrolled in the children's savings account program. Thanks to Washtenaw County chipping in $2.9 million from its federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and $3.78 million from the county's general fund, each participant will start off with a free $25 deposit. They will be able to grow their children's savings account and receive financial education and support.
While every student receives $25 in their account, students from lower-income families can receive an additional $475 if they give My Future Fund’s staff permission to check their eligibility based on income criteria. My Future Fund accounts will be created for all students this summer, unless they choose to opt out.
Sara Saylor, My Future Fund Coordinator for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District
(WISD), and County Commissioner Justin Hodge ran a quiz show for the assembled pupils at Erickson to introduce them to the concept of saving for the future.
"Let's raise your thumb up if you think this is true or point your thumb down if you think this is false: It's too early for kids to start thinking about their future," Saylor said.
They encouraged children to think about their dreams and how they could help make them true through saving money.
Hodge said in a press release that he is a proponent of the program and that it's important that the program addresses equity for low-income families and children. According to research cited by the WISD
, children's savings accounts are a research-based strategy for increasing the chances that low-income children will go on to complete high school and enroll in college.
for more information about the My Future Fund program.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She joined Concentrate as a news writer in early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to other Issue Media Group publications. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Ashley Kryscysnki.
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