Call: 269-409-1254
P.O. Box 63, Cassopolis, MI 49031

Cass Kickstart to Careers Program, Cassopolis Public School District

What Kickstart means to students

With three piggy banks already filled up at home, and more than $150 in savings, Vin Borsa, a Sam Adams Elementary student, is no stranger to saving.

Now, he has a fourth piggy bank made of green plastic with the Cass Kickstart to Careers logo on the side. This piggy bank sits safely locked away in his teacher, Morgan First’s, cabinet, ready to be filled with money. The money in his school-specific piggy bank will not be spent on Borsa’s routine candy purchases, but instead will be used for his future education.

As Borsa held his piggy bank in his hands, he talked of trips to the bank with his mother and doing chores for money. He hopes to have $150 saved in his green piggy bank when he graduates.


What Kickstart means to teachers

Getting everyone onboard — When the program was first implemented, teacher, Kelly Gustafson, had students bringing in a few pennies daily. It became a ritual of sorts — she would walk to a locked cupboard, get out a child’s piggy bank and watch them deposit their coins.

The teachers have since unanimously decided to make the first Friday of every month a day dedicated to making deposits into the piggy banks. Earlier this year, they sent red envelopes home with their students asking parents to send back change. They received quite the response.

“The parents are definitely buying into it,” Gustafson said. “I already have kids bringing in money just designated for that. The parents are supporting the kids by telling them, “You are going to go to college or you are going to go to trade school, and that’s why you need this money put away.”

Gustafson, who is still paying off her own student loans, is excited for her son to start kindergarten next year and to start saving.

“That takes a load off,” she said.


I can’t say enough concerning the partnership we have with Cass Kickstart! Teaching children the value of saving over time helps them understand the benefit of post-secondary education.  Our partnership illustrates the level of commitment made to enriching our children and community!  

I appreciate the guidance and everything you are doing to keep this program in our building!

Deb Stermer, Former Principal
Cassopolis Public Schools
Sam Adams Elementary