A smartphone, a few minutes and a great story to share about how the opportunity to find the right educational fit has changed your lives. That is all it takes to enter the “Choices in Education” video contest with prizes up to $15,000. But you’d better act quickly. The deadline is Dec. 1.
Propel Schools will be part of the region’s giving day later this month. On Nov. 28, Give Big Pittsburgh Day, support the Propel Schools Foundation and deserving K-12 students.
For information, go to http://bit.ly/2iOLT3Q and feel free to share!
Fund My Future, an innovative program from Propel Schools that has helped hundreds of local families save for college and beyond, is now available throughout Allegheny County for all children from birth to age 18. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto and Pittsburgh City Councilman Dan Gilman were joined today (Oct. 27) by representatives from Propel Schools and Neighborhood Allies to announce this countywide expansion.
“We want Allegheny County to be known as a region of great opportunity, and part of that is ensuring that all of the county’s children have a chance to have bright futures,” said Fitzgerald. “We’re thrilled to see this program expand to the entire county, and look forward to its continued growth as more and more families begin saving for their children’s future.”
Propel Schools, the largest public charter school system in Allegheny County, launched the program in 2013 with the goal of developing productive saving habits and hope for the future from a young age. A 2013 study by the Assets and Education Initiatives shows that children with savings accounts are three times more likely to attend college and four times more likely to graduate.
“This program is an innovative way for family members to invest in the future of the children they care about. This is a tangible way for students to learn and understand and experience the value of saving for the future,” said Peduto. “With collaborative investments in post-secondary opportunities, we can turn dreams of the futureinto reality.”
Fund My Future is unique in that it partners with community organizations and foundations to provide thousands of dollars in prize incentives. Participants link a new or existing savings account or 529 plan to the Fund MyFuture website (www.fundmyfuturepgh.org), where they can track how much they have saved and earn chances to win prizes from a prize pool worth $15,000 over the next year.
“The Fund My Future college savings account program creates a culture of saving and places postsecondary education within reach of thousands of kids throughout Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. By linking prizes to saving, the program makes saving fun and more accessible for all of Pittsburgh’s families,” said Gilman.
In a growing field of child-savings products and services, Fund My Future stands out because it does not rely on government support, but rather on grants from foundations to create the prize pool. Rather than limiting participation to one bank, families may use accounts from a variety of financial institutions.
“We’ve discovered that families want to save and will save for their children if given support,” said Jeremy Resnick, executive director of Propel Schools Foundation. “Each deposit, even as little as a dollar, makes a difference. At an average deposit of about $5, Propel families have saved more than $100,000 in nearly 2,000 accounts.”
As the program expands, there is opportunity for the region’s major employers and financial institutions to promote this opportunity with their employees and customers. Community organizations, churches and schools have become Fund My Future partners and are championing the program around Allegheny County.
“Families are starting to sign up and are getting credit for saving,” said Presley Gillespie, president of Neighborhood Allies. “They believe their children can have bright futures, and they are taking steps to make their dreams a reality.”
About Propel Schools
Propel Schools is a network of public charter schools that transforms the lives of children in underserved communities through innovative, student-centered learning. Propel sets a standard for creating productive citizens by prioritizing academic excellence and fundamental life skills. Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Propel has become one of the largest, fastest-expanding charter school organizations since it was established in 2003. Today, Propel serves 4,000 students at 13 Allegheny County locations. Visit propelschools.org to learn more.
About Neighborhood Allies
Neighborhood Allies is a community development support organization that brings resources and expertise to distressed and transitional neighborhoods in and around Pittsburgh. Neighborhood Allies’ unique investment approach supports innovative, resident-driven, comprehensive development and revitalization strategies and partnerships. Visit neighborhoodallies.org to learn more.
The Propel Schools backpack feeding program is available to all Propel elementary schools. Each Friday, backpacks are distributed to qualifying students containing three breakfasts, three lunches, three snacks and three pieces of fresh fruit.
To become a part of the backpack feeding program, students must qualify for the free and reduced-lunch program at their school or afterschool program. There is limited space available for the program, so families are encouraged to complete and return the application as soon as possible.
Click here for more information and to download an application. Questions? Contact Eric Ewell, Community Outreach, at 412-584-8041.
Beginning this year, through community eligibility and the federal government, ALL students, regardless of whether they qualify for the free and reduced lunch program, will receive FREE breakfast and lunch.
Survey and drawing for $500: Even with this exciting change, we are required to survey each student. Look for a short, confidential survey on yellow paper (similar to the free and reduced lunch qualification form) in the mail during the first week of school. Propel Schools needs this information to support educational programming. Students who return a completed form by Sept. 1 will have their names entered into a drawing for $500!
ID numbers and faster lunch lines: Along with free meals, students will need to know their ID number in order to receive breakfast and/or lunch. This will speed up the lunch line and give everyone more time to eat. In Skyward, your child’s 6-digit ID number is listed as the “Other ID.” Please work with your students to memorize this number. (This could be a fun learning activity for younger children. They will enter the number using a pin pad similar to the one pictured here.) Students will need to know their ID number starting Sept. 1.
Menu: Menus are available for all buildings through your school website (go to www.propelschools.org, use the dropdown menu to select your school and click on the “Lunch” link on the left side).
Money in accounts: Students who have a positive Food Service balance may keep their money in their account to use for purchasing a la carte items or request a refund by emailing Melissa O’Dell, Food Service Clerk, at firstname.lastname@example.org (refunds may not be requested by phone). A la carte items will be available for purchase (grades 6-12) beginning Sept. 5.
Questions: If you have questions, please feel free to call the Food Service Office at 412-325-7305 Ext. 1290.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) E-mail: email@example.com. This institution is an equal opportunity provider
Tuesday-Students with the last name H-P
Wednesday-Students with the last name Q-Z
Thursday-Students with the last name A-G
Friday-All Students report