Partnership gives APS kindergarteners savings accounts
According to the Nationwide Retirement Institute, 40 percent of Black adults say COVID-19 has impacted their retirement plans, compared to 33 percent of white adults.
By Allison Joyner
Last week, Operation HOPE along with the City of Atlanta and Citibank announced a partnership that will provide child savings accounts to kindergarteners who attend Atlanta Public Schools (APS) to promote the importance of financial literacy.
“I am hippopotamus happy and peacock proud around the energy that is tied to more,” said Dr. Lisa Herring, Superintendent of APS, at the official announcement program at Tuskegee Airmen Global Academy to kindergarteners and distinguished guests.
The City of Atlanta and Operation HOPE will deposit over $125,000 to savings accounts for 2,500 APS students to help build a financial foundation for them to utilize when they become adults.
The program, administered by Operation HOPE, will deposit $50 into the accounts housed by Citibank for the students who attend one of APS’s Title I schools. The kids and their family members will have the opportunity to add more money when they receive it until they are in the 12th grade. Once the child graduates from an APS high school, in 2034 or later, the account can be withdrawn to go towards paying for college or starting a business.
Financial literacy workshops for students, parents and caregivers are some of the program initiatives Operation HOPE will offer to help students and their families grow their money.
The children were also given a copy of the book “Just Saving My Money” to read about how they can save their money to make money after completing their chores at home or when they receive money as birthday gifts.
“I was once sitting right where you are. I was in kindergarten. I was your age, and unlike you, I didn’t have an entire school district and a superintendent and a mayor — all what you have —- which are about to make you part of history,” John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE said in a video message to the students in attendance.
As its mission for over 30 years, Operation HOPE is making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved — disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the country.
“When I was supported as mayor, in my inauguration speech, I made a lot of promises and thankfully, I had a team who was very intent on making sure I kept my promises,” said former mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
As one of her last accomplishments while in office, Bottoms and the Atlanta City Council approved Operation HOPE to spearhead this project in November. She said that the accounts would improve the trajectory of the students who most need financial support to pursue their dreams of higher education.
“I made this commitment during my campaign and am grateful to have it delivered to families across Atlanta. Before I left the office, we were finally able to say ‘promise kept,” Bottoms said.
“We need you to make as many deposits not just financially but emotional deposits, educational deposits, positive resources and joy, deposits of investment and commitment. Together we will continue to see greatness in Atlanta that already is a part of our day-to-day,” Herring said.
Log onto its website to find out more about the child savings accounts through Operation HOPE.