More than 550 Newaygo County kindergartners have received their first Kickstart to Career deposit from Fremont Area Community Foundation.
Kickstart to Career Newaygo County is a children’s savings account program that is operated by the Community Foundation and ChoiceOne Bank. It kicked off in the fall of 2018 when kindergartners automatically received their very own savings account. The Community Foundation initially deposits $50 into each account and students can earn additional deposits every year through 12th grade. Family members and friends can also make deposits into a student’s account.
Kickstart to Career was created to build aspirations, encourage savings, increase financial education, and assist with college or career expenses.
The program currently serves over 550 kindergarteners and will impact more than 7,000 students over the next 10 years.
“Kids are six times more likely to go to college if they have even a small savings account,” said Amy Moore, director of community investment at the Community Foundation. “They’re also more likely to have bank accounts and healthier credit as adults. With Kickstart to Career, we’re integrating the idea of dreaming, planning, and saving for the future into our culture, starting with our kindergartners.”
As part of the program, ChoiceOne Bank will also provide financial literacy education in classrooms. This fall, kindergartners learned about safe places to save money and were given a piggy bank to start their own savings. Currently, kindergarten teachers are planning spring field trips to visit their local ChoiceOne Bank location.
Upon high school graduation, students can use their Kickstart to Career accounts to help pay for career or educational expenses like tuition, books, job training, and required supplies.
Kickstart to Career is a 10-cohort pilot program and open to students entering kindergarten from 2018 through 2027. Fremont Area Community Foundation expects to make more than $3.4 million in deposits over the next 10 years.
For more information, visit kickstarttocareer.org or call 231.924.5350.