WNYC: Paying Kids to Go to School
Reporter Mirela Iverac explores Family Rewards, a program that operates in the Bronx and Memphis, Tenn. Providing cash payments to poor families who meet health, employment and education goals. Children’s Aid has administrated the program, which is funded by the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity, for several years.
To date, over 1,200 participant families have earned nearly $3.5 million in rewards, increasing their disposable household income and supporting educational gains and preventive health care, and helping parents to earn GEDs and find better paying employment. Reward payments alleviate immediate hardship by supplementing household income.
In the near term, families invest in their skills, education and health, building human capital to reduce poverty. In the long term, education and health outcomes improve for children and families, breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Supported by grants from the federal Social Innovation Fund and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Center for Economic Opportunity, Family Rewards is monitored by MDRC, a research organization that will present an extensive report following the close of the program in June 2015.
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