CN Steps up for Financial Literacy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saskatoon, November 20, 2020 – The CN Stronger Communities Fund supports organizations that develop innovative programs or services that strengthen knowledge, prosperity, and learning in their communities. Ensuring families have access to free financial literacy programs is important to CN, especially with COVID adding additional stress to many Saskatchewan families’ finances. Today, CN announced a donation of $40,000 into READ Saskatoon’s free financial literacy programming and supports.
“Many low-income and marginalized individuals and families in Saskatchewan are seeking opportunities to maximize their savings and build assets,” says Brad Wall, Saskatchewan CN Community Board Chair. “READ Saskatoon’s programs were a good fit for the CN Community Board’s to recommend to CN, because they focus on delivering important skills and knowledge, like budgeting, credit, assets, banking, spending habits, RESPs, and Canada Learning Bonds. We know that this donation will help grow individuals and family’s financial confidence; enabling people to make better informed and effective decisions with their financial resources.”
READ Saskatoon has been delivering financial literacy programming since 2012 that focuses on providing support to community members with the greatest need. Their ability to accommodate the persistent demand for programming and training indicates they are collaborating with the right organizations to have the greatest impact. Based on results throughout Saskatchewan, they have found that once given the tools, guidance, advice, and connection to local resources, program participants make positive changes to their behaviours that result in savings and increased stability for themselves and their families.
“There is a significant need for no-cost financial help to Saskatchewan citizens trying to navigate the current economic situation. Debt, unstable employment, and rising costs work against citizens regaining their financial stability and rebuilding their financial health,” says Jarvis Pelletier, Board of Directors Chair for READ Saskatoon. “This investment from CN will allow us to continue to provide programs as well as support other communities as they provide financial literacy support to their clients.”
Last year READ Saskatoon provided financial literacy programming to over 300 individuals and trained 24 staff from 12 different agencies throughout the province to deliver the financial literacy curriculum. Results demonstrate:
- 90% of participants reported changing the way they spend and/or save. (1 reported already having high skills).
- 83% reported that they follow a budget more successfully because of the program
- 41% of respondents completed short term purchases, as a result of short-term savings
- 75% were saving toward long term goals, which included: vehicles, RESPs, a home, vacation, moving costs, rainy day fund, video gaming system, and retirement
- 50% of respondents shared that they had problems managing credit prior to attending the workshops and half of those with credit problems took positive steps to address them after completing the workshops.
CN is a world-class transportation leader and trade-enabler. Essential to the economy, to the customers, and to the communities it serves, CN safely transports more than 300 million tons of natural resources, manufactured products, and finished goods throughout North America every year. As the only railroad connecting Canada’s Eastern and Western coasts with the Southern tip of the U.S. through a 19,500-mile rail network, CN and its affiliates have been contributing to community prosperity and sustainable trade since 1919. CN is committed to programs supporting social responsibility and environmental stewardship.
About the Saskatchewan CN Community Board:
Chaired by Brad Wall, former Premier of Saskatchewan and special advisor at Osler, the Board provides input to CN on community investments in the province. The Board’s focus is to support local, grassroots organizations where CN’s contributions will make a meaningful impact. To learn more about the Community Board and where organizations can apply for funding, please visit https://www.cn.ca/en/delivering-responsibly/community/
About READ Saskatoon
Established in 1979, READ Saskatoon is a volunteer literacy organization that provides adult, family, and financial literacy services to individuals and families. Literacy programs are delivered by staff and trained volunteers. Their vision is to help support a community that values literacy, and they believe that lifelong habits contribute to strong and resilient communities.