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NEW YORK, NY — An ambitious “baby bonds” program officially launched with $100 in savings accounts for all New York City public school kindergartners.
About 70,000 kindergartners this year will have access to the accounts, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.
The “NYC Kids RISE Save for College” effort is the largest city-run “baby bonds” program — which provides youngsters with college or careers funds — in the nation.
“New York City is going to prove it can be done on a mass scale,” de Blasio said.
De Blasio announced the program as the city marked the Juneteenth holiday. He called it a way to address gaps in generational wealth experienced by people of color.
The city piloted the program in District 30 in Queens and enrolled 13,000 students.
“What this program does is it sets up an account for students,” Council Member Daniel Dromm said. “These are students who probably never even thought, or their parents never thought of the possibility of having access to a college degree.”
All kindergartners enrolled in a New York City public school will have access to those scholarship accounts, officials said. The city will invest $100 toward their future education and give up to $200 in rewards.
De Blasio said the program will continue every year into the future.
“It starts something that grows and grows and grows and becomes a community imperative,” he said