Smart529

Teachers

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SMART529 is West Virginia's 529 college savings program and offers a variety of investment strategy options designed to meet a range of needs your students’ families may have. However, we have found that teachers are an important part of helping children discover their dreams. For some students, your classroom is the only exposure they have to reaching their future careers, which is why we offer a variety of programs you can implement in your classroom. With over $2 billion in assets and 42,000 West Virginia account holders, as of December 31, 2017, SMART529 can help your students and their families plan for their future.


Pre-K Students

College Day at Preschool is an exciting and fun opportunity to inspire your students to dream big and to celebrate your graduating preschoolers as they head to Kindergarten. It’s also a great time to challenge both students and parents to think about the future and how they will make their dreams for themselves or their children a reality.

The goal of College Day is to stress the importance of a college education and to create a stronger momentum for the long journey ahead, which begins in preschool and continues for the next 15 – 20 years of the child’s life.

Program Details

Select a day that your preschool facility conducts the College Day program with its graduating students – those four and five-year olds who are heading off to kindergarten in the fall. Encourage each student to dream big!

Write down what students want to be when they grow up on the Photo Activity Prop and snap a picture! With parents’ permission, we encourage you to share these on our SMART529 Facebook page with the hashtag #WhenIGrowUp. Get parents involved too for even more fun, and don’t forget to distribute the Parent Newsletters.

Download additional program materials here or call (304) 340-2705 to request that copies be mailed to your facility.


K-5 Students

This is a time of exploration for young students, making your impact on them so important! With the help of teachers like you, we are encouraging students to dream big with the When I Grow Up essay contest. Not only can they could win up to $5,000 towards college, but you could win too!

Program Details

Your students write a short essay that begins with “When I grow up, I want to be a…”. They then tell why they chose that career. Parents and teachers can help children with their essay.

West Virginia children in grades K-5 are eligible to win, and the entries are broken down into three grade categories and five regions.* The essays of 15 children are selected by a panel of judges, and those children will be awarded a $500 SMART529 college savings account. The winners’ school or homeschool association will also receive a $500 cash prize.

Additionally, we want to hear from you too! Write an essay telling us how you used the When I Grow Up essay contest in your classrooms, and you could win $2,500 cash for… a vacation, shopping spree, classroom supplies – the choice is yours.

The deadline to submit entries is March 2, 2018. Winners will honored at a press conference later in the year, and a Grand Prize winner will be randomly selected from the 15 regional winners. That Grand Prize winner will win an additional $4,500 in their SMART529 college savings account. Winners will also be invited to participate in a photo shoot to represent the 2019 SMART529 campaign.

With parents’ permission, we encourage you to share these on our SMART529 Facebook page with the hashtag #WhenIGrowUp. Get parents involved too for even more fun, and don’t forget to distribute the Parent Newsletters. Download When I Grow Up essay contest materials here or call (304) 340-2705 to request that copies be mailed to your facility.


Resources

Need more ideas to teach your students the value of higher education? Head over to our Facebook page for even more fun activities!

Downloadable Materials:

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*See official rules for a listing of grade categories and regional breakdown.

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Updated 01/05/2018