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“I joined this program because I wanted to improve my children’s educational future.”
Donovan participated in our RESP Matched Savings Program this year because he believes in the power of education and wanted his children to be able to afford post-secondary schooling. Looking for ways to increase his financial literacy skills, he took part in the program as a resident of Trotchie House, a home designed for single fathers.
Matched Savings is a six-month program with the goal of opening, and contributing to, a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). Participants are supported while they gather the required documentation and information to open an RESP, and start making monthly deposits to support their child’s educational future. At graduation of the program, their savings are matched 3:1.
Participants are also offered READ Saskatoon’s full six-part financial literacy workshop series providing solid information to help them make informed financial decisions.
Through the Matched Savings Program, Donovan opened a family RESP for his children, ages four and five. He strengthened his money management skills in budgeting, banking, asset building, spending habits, and credit and debt repayment. READ Saskatoon aims to provide tangible tools and resources that participants can put into action immediately. Donovan felt the most valuable information was in the budgeting workshop: “Learning how to write out my expenses and see where my money is going each month has helped me manage my money better. Now, I compare grocery prices, pay bills on time, and still have enough money at the end of the month to continue contributing to my children’s RESP.”
The RESP Matched Savings Program benefits low-income parents and focuses on growing families’ assets while supporting informed financial decisions. This program empowers parents to realize their dreams for their children’s post-secondary educational goals.
Children with education savings are 50% more likely to attend and are four times more likely to graduate post-secondary. (SmartSaver.org)
Promoting both savings and the accumulation of assets among low-income families is an effective way to fight poverty and reduce income inequality. Contributing to an RESP, in any amount, signals to children that post-secondary education provides a foundation for a strong independent future. It changes the conversation in the home from ‘if’ they go to post-secondary to ‘when’ they go to post-secondary.
84% of financial literacy participants earn less than $30,000 annually, including Donovan. The Matched Savings Program focuses on supporting low-income families. Participants have many challenges to accessing information and improving their skills. READ Saskatoon tries to eliminate as many barriers as possible as we work towards education equity across the province.
Program evaluation is an important part of our work. It helps our agency understand the impact of our community programs, supports decision making, and ensures we create responsive and effective literacy programs. Last year in our financial literacy programs:
“I am now on top of my banking and credit card accounts! I was recently frauded and was able to call the fraud department ASAP to cancel my card and look into the fraud” (Faith, 2020).
READ Saskatoon’s responsive literacy programming provides hope to adults and families who are struggling. Our agency helps people recognize skills they already have and works with them to build on those skills. We provide tools that empower them to have more confidence, improve health outcomes, obtain better jobs, and enhance educational opportunities.
In the last three months, READ Saskatoon has seen an increase in demand for its services.
There is so much more to do, and we want to ensure we have the staff and programs to meet the upcoming demand in the community for family, financial, adult, and children’s literacy support.
Learn Together, Grow Together
The increase in client numbers this fall tells us we need to be ready to meet community need over the next four years while families recover from COVID. That’s why READ Saskatoon launched a $2 million programming campaign: Learn Together, Grow Together.
This is a program campaign, and the funds will be used to increase literacy skills across the province. With your assistance, we will support more people and families, achieve more learning goals, and create more opportunities in the community.
Donovan is not alone. Last year, READ Saskatoon worked with 900 children and adults who reached out to improve their literacy skills, but there are so many waiting for help. You can ensure people have the skills they need to achieve their learning goals. By becoming a donor and investing in your community, you will ensure there are free services available to people like Donovan and his family.
The Korchinski Family Foundation has generously offered to double donations of $500 and triple donations of $750, or more (up to $30,000) to the READ Saskatoon Light a Spark campaign. The Korchinski family is proud to make a positive impact in our community by supporting organizations that provide personal and professional development in Saskatchewan.
Chair, Board of Directors