Governments have taken an active role in the financial education of children from the federal to the state to the local level. Mayors have spearheaded a number of initiatives in their local communities. Here are just a few of the programs they are pursuing.
Boston Mayor Uses Farm Blitz to Teach Teens Financial Literacy
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino began a “Save Up” initiative on August 1, 2011, to teach area youth about personal finances via a three-week online tournament of the Farm Blitz video game. Cash prizes, topping out at $200 for the grand prize, were deposited directly into the winners’ savings accounts.
Coming in November 2010, Farm Blitz is a fun, new casual financial education that teaches about the trade-offs between debt and savings. This game, along with other titles, is available at the free financial entertainment portal (www.financialentertainment.org).
San Francisco Mayor Newsom and City Leaders Launch “Kindergarten To College”
Mayor Gavin Newsom joined San Francisco leaders to announce the launch of Kindergarten to College (K2C), the nation’s first universal children’s savings account program, designed to put all children on the path to college. The City will open a savings account with an initial seed deposit for every kindergartner entering public school. San Francisco is the first city in the nation to launch a college savings program for all public school kindergarteners.
K2C aims to increase college aspirations for every child while helping families get a head start on college savings. Philanthropic foundations will provide cash matches and incentives to encourage families to save. Emerging research shows these accounts can be a cost-effective investment to boost academic performance and increase savings and financial literacy.