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Photos courtesy of NYC Kids RISE

BY EMMA MILLER

The NYC Kids RISE Save for College Program has announced that savings of up to $100 will be matched for participating first-grade families.

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza joined students, parents, faculty and elected officials last week for the first Building Block Party to celebrate the savings match. The gathering at P.S. 76 in Long Island City included coloring for the kids and an opportunity for everyone to share savings tips.

“Getting a head start on saving for college is crucial, but the reality is that not all families have the ability to do so. NYC Kids RISE’s Savings Match will empower low-income families and help level the playing field for all kids in our city,” said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

The Save for College Program currently includes 3,100 first grade families across school district 30. These families can receive a dollar for dollar match for deposits into their college savings accounts over the next three years through the program.

“Families have until third grade to earn the $100 match and should do so in the way that makes the most sense for them. That’s part of why the Save for College Program is collecting everyone’s best savings tips at 10 Building Block Parties across the district this month—because there is so much expertise in every corner of this community,” said Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, CEO of Urban Upbound.

The Save for College Program started last year for kindergarten families. Over 94% of school district 30 kindergarteners were enrolled in the program and given a college savings account. These 3,100 now first-grade families are eligible for the savings match once they complete the three “building blocks:” registering online to view the account, opening and connecting their own college savings account and making a deposit in the connected account.

The program hopes to cover at least 3,000 new kindergarteners this year in the 38 participating schools. NYC Kids RISE hopes to eventually provide every student in a city public school with an account.

“College affordability is a serious problem our kids are facing and will face,” said Assemblyman Brian Barnwell. “Many students who want to attend college are unable to because of the cost. Saving early is key to help afford college, and every amount helps.”

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