Nov. 6, 2019 – Queens, NEW YORK
By Dr. Philip A. Composto, School District 30 Community Superintendent
Throughout my career as an educator, I have learned that children succeed when they have a strong community of family, peers, educators, and neighbors supporting them. That is why I was thrilled when Community School District 30 – our school district here in Western Queens – was selected as the pilot location for the ground-breaking Save for College Program, which guarantees a scholarship fund for college and career training to every public school student.
We have worked together over the past two and a half years to bring this innovative new tool to more than 6,600 of our elementary students and counting. At every turn, asking ourselves, “How is this good for children?”, our District 30 family has worked creatively and diligently over the past two and a half years to bring the program to life in our schools. Realizing its potential as a tool, school teams – from the teachers and parent coordinators to the secretaries, principals, assistant principals, and school aides –have used the program to continue deepening post-secondary readiness and college and career-going culture in our schools.
In August, at NYC Kids RISE’s second-annual Save for College Schools Conference, it was my honor to unveil and kick off our 2019-20 Save for College Program Plan. Learning from our first two years of working with families, we have embraced a new organizing principle this year to allow for consistent programming throughout the academic year with technical support from NYC Kids RISE. Through professional learning sessions, toolkits, monthly conference calls, feedback sessions, and on-site training meetings NYC Kids RISE and our schools have established true partnership at every turn.
While the specific events may vary from school to school – as each of our communities are different –each one offers key information and resources for families. Schools will also support participating families to activate and view their NYC Scholarship Account as one key step in promoting college-going culture. Our intention for the year is to make sure that every participating family has seen their NYC Scholarship Account. This encourages families to think about post-secondary education early, and it ensures they know that the community is investing in their future.
The Save for College Program is not only a tool for increasing our students’ ability to pay for post-secondary education. It can also increase parent participation and involvement in our schools, empower our families to make informed financial and educational decisions about their children’s future, and strengthen ties across our families, schools, and the surrounding community.
The Save for College Program has already made a profound impact on our schools, our neighborhoods, and most important, our children. We look forward to our continued work with NYC Kids RISE and our other partners, and we cannot wait to see how the program continues to grow.