GOODMAN, Wisc. (WLUC Photo) - The M & M Area Community Foundation is helping kindergarten students in Marinette and Menominee counties learn about savings through a new 'Future Fund’ program. On Monday, they 'kicked-off' their first annual ceremony at Goodman-Armstrong Creek Elementary School.
Students, parents, administration, and the foundation stand together. (WLUC Photo)
A promise is a promise and the M & M Area Community Foundation has put their money where their mouth is, when it comes to teaching the next generation the value of saving.
"This is the Future Fund, I believe in you, we believe in you, you're going to have a future no matter what it is, no matter how you choose that,” said the Executive Director of the foundation, Paula Gruszynski.
Here’s how it works: the foundation opens an account for every enrolled kindergartner in Menominee and Marinette counties and it comes with a $50 deposit from the foundation. All of this at no cost to the parents.
The ‘Future Fund’ is a long term savings account, designed to help the students after high school, for training or education. Over time, this money grows.
"Even in kindergarten I feel it is very important, and then as they grow, they'll learn more and more because of the account that they've opened,” said Ann Mayer, the Stephenson Bank Branch Manager in Pembine, and Wausaukee.
School officials believe that this small investment could have a big impact on the students, including higher graduation rates.
"How wonderful it is to have a start for our kids, since they are the most precious resource and it gives them the idea that savings important and just we are going to get to work with them here at school, and putting little away for their futures and talking about their futures,” said Goodman-Armstrong Creek School District Superintendent, Allison Space.
Many sponsors and groups provided funding for this.
"It makes me feel so proud of the community for supporting this, the board of directors of the M & M Area Community Foundation for establishing this fund for having the foresight to think that this is what our community deserves, what our community needs,” said Gruszynski.
While the first 5 years of this program are funded, the foundation has a $1 million fundraising goal to continue offering it to future students. They will remain open to any contributions the community can make.