New College Savings Workshops

SoarMA is a new program to help families of seventh graders invest in their child’s higher education through a 529 college savings plan. It provides eligible seventh graders with an initial $50 Deposit for their 529 college savings account.

After enrollment, and for up to 365 days after 7th grade student’s account is opened, the SoarMA program will match up to an additional $400 of savings provided by others into the student’s 529 college savings account. Match funding will be provided in increments of $100.

This program is currently being offered to Reid Middle School students. Enrollment is open already. Visit to learn more.

SoarMA Flier Pittsfield



November 29 Working Cities Wednesday

Did you miss the last Working Cities Wednesday? No problem. Here are some actions you can join in our community. Connect with the lead and get involved today.

Foster Family Recruitment Strategies
Cathy Deely  (617)650-5604

Summary of Discussion: Better strategies for attracting potential foster families and retaining families going through the application process.

  • Outreach events/new locations
  • Target audiences
  • Radio

Three things to do before the next meeting:

  • Research possible new events and locations
  • Schedule an information meeting at Berkshire Children & Families
  • Create survey to find out why people drop out of the application process

Resources you may need:

  • A willingness to explore new partnerships
  • Volunteers
  • Fundraising

Community Inspiration and Engagement
Carolyn Valli, (413)442-3181

Summary of Discussion:

  • Focus groups to determine the solution that the community wants/needs instead of providing solutions.
  • Use the Feedback look to get the information to determine the direction. Neighborhood residents.
  • How do we get all the neighbors involved?

Three things to do before next meeting:

  1. Get the people together who can help create a survey.
  2. Create and publicize a schedule for community conversations.

Resources you may need:

  • Neighbors
  • $ for survey production and refreshments

Soar MA Outreach
Shaitia Spruell  (781) 915-9743

Summary of Discussion:

  • Overview of Soar MA and current challenges
  • Suggestions for outreach: trust and word of mouth

Three things to do before next meeting:

  1. Cindy and Shari will connect again-offline.
  2. Finalize partnerships for learning circles.

Resources you may need:

  • Identify community leaders