Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom presents $150,000 Grant Award to San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College

K2C Check 1

***Press Release***

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom presents $150,000 Grant Award to San Francisco’s Kindergarten to College

Funds to match college savings for 4,500 kindergart

en students enrolled in nation’s first universal college savings program

Contact:            Greg Kato, Treasurer’s Office, (415)554-6888 (office)

Date:                    Thursday May 22nd, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO – Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom arrived at Hillcrest Elementary School this morning to present a grant of over $150,000 raised from the San Francisco community to support college savings matches for the Kindergarten to College program. Funds were raised by the 1:1 Fund, in part through a unique online giving campaign spearheaded by Lieutenant Governor Newsom, who personally contributed to the campaign.

“We know that a college education is the key to success in today’s economy, yet only 1 in 10 students from low-income families will graduate from college by their mid-twenties,” said Lieutenant Governor Newsom. “I championed the K2C program when I was Mayor and I continue to do so both personally and as a policymaker. We need to get more of our kids to and through college and we know family savings is critical in making that happen.”

The K2C program automatically opens a college savings account for every kindergarten student entering the San Francisco Unified School District. K2C provides a $50 initial contribution to each account, matches up to the first $100 of savings from families, dollar for dollar, and provides an additional $100 bonus for six months of consistent savings. The savings matches and bonuses are funded by private philanthropy, which has provided over $500,000 of support since the program launched in 2011.

“Kindergarten to College makes a big difference in the lives of San Francisco students and their families. It prepares them both academically and financially for college and sets an expectation for college in their most formative years,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Our City is committed to making sure more of our youth have the financial means to go to college and succeed in the 21st Century economy.  I am grateful to the 1:1 Fund and Lt. Governor Newsom for their continued support and for their generosity.”

K2C has opened over 13,600 accounts for SFUSD students. To date, 1,606 of those families have begun saving for college through the program and have contributed over $630,000 of their own money towards their children’s college educations. More than 50% of K2C savers are from free and reduced lunch eligible families. The total value of the college savings accounts – including initial deposits from the City and County of San Francisco, family contributions and philanthropic matches and incentives - is currently over $1,600,000.

“This is a great day for SFUSD students and for the San Francisco community. Over 100 community members -- individuals, local foundations and companies -- stepped up and donated to encourage families to start saving for college. We look forward to building off this momentum to help more San Francisco families take the step of saving for their child’s college future,” commented Carl Rist, Executive Director of the 1:1 Fund.

San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros and Hydra Mendoza-McDonnell, Education and Family Services Advisor to Mayor Edwin Lee and an elected Member of the San Francisco Board of Education, were on hand to accept the grant. “K2C has seen remarkable success in its first three years,” said Treasurer Cisneros, whose Office of Financial Empowerment runs the program. “Our savings participation rate is 12% - four times greater than national participation in 529 college savings programs. The savings match is highly motivational to encourage our families to save.”

Superintendent Richard Carranza has supported the roll out of K2C in all 74 public elementary schools. He said “K2C is becoming an integral part of how we create and promote a college going culture for our students at SFUSD. This partnership between the City, the District and the community will help make college a reality for many more of our kids. I am proud of the work we have done together so far and confident that with the support of the San Francisco community our children have bright futures ahead.”

Kindergarten to College is administered by the Office of Financial Empowerment in the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector.  The program was established in 2010 by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

The 1:1 Fund supports the college dreams of low-income children by ensuring that those dreams are matched with savings in the bank. Conceived and capitalized by CFED, a national nonprofit that empowers low- and moderate-income households to build and protect assets, the 1:1 Fund makes it easy for donors, large and small, to help kids save for college by enabling them to match the contributions of young savers in special children’s savings accounts.

For more information about Kindergarten to College, visit sfofe.org.

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