Subject – Local Children Missing Out on Federal Education Money
You might be surprised to learn that our area ( Leeds and Grenville) has one of the lowest enrollment rates for the Canada Learning Bond in the whole country. This is a federal program that provides financial assistance for eligible families to help set aside savings for their children’s education. Even if the family cannot afford to make contributions, the government will still make a contribution. The sooner the child is enrolled, the better. If enrollment does not happen early, by the time the child is in grade one, the family will have ‘lost’ the opportunity to get up to five years of federal contribution ($500).
A local group called the Poverty Reduction Alliance has taken steps to help make it easier for local families to sign up for the Learning Bond in partnership with a national nonprofit organization called Smartsaver. Every family’s circumstances are different, so it is worth looking at the examples on the official websites to understand how and if it applies to your family. One of the things that is most exciting about this initiative is that research shows that education is the most powerful way to lift people out of poverty. More significantly, simply KNOWING that your family is saving money for your education has been shown to increase the odds that a young person will complete high school and pursue post secondary education for Canadian youth. Believing in our kids’ potential is a powerful tool.
We have created a portal gateway for local families to sign up via Smartsaver at www.StartMyRESP.ca/LeedsGrenville Smartsaver has only partnered with financial institutions that will help families set up Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) with NO fee and NO attempt to sell their other financial products. And for every family that signs up through the local portal, Smart Saver will transfer $25 to the Leeds Grenville Poverty Reduction Alliance , which will be put to use for regional poverty alleviation initiatives. Smartsaver makes NO money from this service; their work is funded by national foundations working towards poverty reduction.
Please, take a minute to think about how you can help spread the word and help get more local children enrolled in education savings programs.
Liz Huff ( Member, Leeds Grenville Poverty Reduction Alliance )