Canada Learning Bond a Powerful Opportunity to Make a Difference for Families

YMCA GTA General Manager Adela Colhon describes the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) as an instrument of hope for families living on a lower income.

“It’s something that aligns closely with our core values and the YMCA has been working for years to inform parents about this powerful benefit and help them get it,” says Colhon who worked with SmartSAVER during its pilot examining obstacles preventing people from accessing the CLB. “It’s a terrific opportunity for organizations working with families to really make a difference in their lives and the lives of their children.”

The CLB is a federal education savings grant of up to $2,000 per eligible child. It provides a kick start for families to begin saving for their children’s post secondary education.  Those savings in turn have tremendous value. They help motivate students to work harder and do better in school and plan for the future to achieve their dreams.

Now, as members of SmartSAVER’s Community Incentive Partnership program, the YMCA of Greater Toronto is putting its own spin on various communications and access tools as it improves its capacity to tell the CLB story. Through the incentive program, SmartSAVER extends a $25 incentive to the ‘Y’ for every CLB signup recorded through StartMyRESP.ca/YMCA, an online RESP starter and CLB application available from SmartSAVER.

As a partner SmartSAVER helped train staff who interact with CLB-eligible parents every day. And incentives earned from CLB applications defray costs associated with customizing some of the most effective print and digital tools from SmartSAVER, like multilingual postcards distributed at Early Years Centres. The postcards provide details about how parents can use the application to open no-cost Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) and access the CLB and other available grants.

The ‘Y’ website also links to SmartSAVER.org, connecting parents with its non-biased, multilingual education savings resource information and to the online application. On it parents can start an RESP at no cost and apply for the CLB and other grants in less than 10 minutes.

‘We’re planning to extend the CLB awareness program beyond our Early Years Centres into different areas across the Y’s core services in the GTA,’ says Adela. ‘We don’t want to lose sight of this great opportunity.’

For more information on how you can reach SmartSAVER and start telling the Canada Learning Bond story at your organization, contact Adela Colhon at Adela.Colhon@ymcagta.org  

By Joe March, Partnership Manager, SmartSAVER

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