Parents with eligible children in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district are invited to apply for up to $2,000 in federal money to help pay for their postsecondary educations. Vancouver Island University has recently hired Dan Cato to promote the Canada Learning Bond program, intended to assist low-income families save money for their kids' educations, and he has teamed up with school trustee Bill Robinson to promote it in local schools.
The CLB is available to children who were born after December 31, 2003, and whose families receive the National Child Benefit Supplement.
If deemed eligible, a bank account is established in which the government immediately places $500 and the students receive $100 each year, which could accumulate to as much as $2,000, that is to be used toward their post-secondary educations.
Robinson said work is under way to prepare a number of forums in the district in which parents would be required to bring along their children's birth certificates.
He said federal officials will be on hand to establish Social Insurance Numbers for the students, which are required to access the program, and bank personnel will be available to set up the (RESP) bank accounts.
"The gatherings will be a one-stop shopping opportunity for students and parents to learn about and apply for the program," Robinson said.
"It's been my experience that the families that have the most to gain from these types of programs tend to be put off by the paperwork and don't take advantage of them so we're trying to make sure everyone has the opportunity."
Robinson encouraged parents to watch for upcoming events at their schools so they will be aware of when the forums will be held.
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