These Little Piggies Went to….School!
A year ago, 55 Rappahannock public school kindergartners received piggy banks stuffed with $100 in play money. But the money wasn’t just for play. Each kindergartner has a personal MyFuture savings account with real dollars, and most of them have earned additional deposits. Average savings are more than $195 as of December 2020. [read more] FamilyFutures is the custodian of the accounts, and deposits will be paid out only to support students’ plans after graduation. The project is the first of its type in Virginia.
In the meantime, these young saver can earn an additional $100 a year by participating in activities that advance their financial knowledge and life skills. The earning options are mostly school based, but parents can get in on the act also by reading a money-themed book with their students or taking them shopping or to their own bank. Documenting these activities with a photo or a child’s drawing earns an additional deposit.
“Starting with kindergarten, students participate in MyFuture activities all the way through high school, earning money in their MyFuture savings accounts along the way. Upon graduation, students will use the financial skills that they learned to help them navigate in the ‘real world’ as young adults. Students will use their savings to pursue whatever their chosen path in life may be,” says Jenny Kapsa, the financial education coordinator embedded in the schools.
Kapsa planned the event as a birthday party, with dollar signs on cupcakes at lunch, in addition to the piggy banks.
“Our goal is making our students “life ready” once they leave the safety of high school,” she says. “The savings accounts are one part of MyFuture programming to help prepare RCPS students to make smart financial choices and give them the knowledge and know-how to discuss and advocate for themselves when dealing with financial situations.”
The kindergartners already have a lot of ideas on how to use the money. Some said they would buy toys (Hot Wheels, a “big” Barbie), but several said they would buy a house, a car or groceries.
Each school year until graduation, FamilyFutures will add up to another $100, for a total of $1400 (plus interest). Earning opportunities will be tailored to students’ age and align with school requirements for college and career exploration. Teachers and staff work with Kapsa to identify earning opportunities that help students grow both financial knowledge and skills essential for life-long success: skills such as making choices, balancing wants and needs, and planning.
“Planning—thinking about the future—and being prepared is the real purpose of the accounts and the earning options over time,” says FamilyFutures board member Thomas Massie, who helped distribute the banks.
Others sharing in the fun were FamilyFutures board members Alexia Morrison, and Rosa Crocker. Participating from Oak View National Bank were Jason Brady, Vice President for Rappahannock and Marshall; and Jennifer Knighting, Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing. Oak View is hosting the accounts.
Planning and saving are for parents and others as well. Residents can learn how even small savings—think $5 a week—can quickly add up for a child’s education or other personal goals. For more information on savings and financial coaching, contact FamilyFutures: email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FamilyFutures is a 501c3 nonprofit, which receives no public funds.
Mail checks to: Family Futures, Box 570, Sperryville, VA 22740
FamilyFutures is a tax exempt charity under Section 501(c)3.
Gifts are fully deductible as allowed by law. Please consult your tax adviser.
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