schools.jpgThe city of San Francisco is investing in its youth–its kindergarteners in particular–with the opening of Kindergarten to College savings accounts.

The city has opened the nation’s first universal children’s savings account program and made an initial deposit of $50 for about 1,200 kindergarteners–a first step on the path to college.

“With Kindergarten to College, soon every student entering kindergarten in public schools in San Francisco will have a college savings account and some seed money to get started. The account is not just a vehicle for savings, but a vehicle for hope,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement.

An additional $50 was provided by the city for students receiving free or reduced price lunches.

Private philanthropic interests are funding a dollar-for-dollar match for the first $100 of savings, with a $100 bonus for families who sign up for automatic monthly deposits, according to city officials.

Citibank is providing the bank accounts, which include savings incentives for students and their families. The bank is also providing a financial education program as part of the initiative, city officials said.

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