Press Releases

Two student essay contest winners will be accepting $500 prizes on behalf of their schools Monday (April 25), while SMART529 professionals will be on hand to provide information and sign up potential new members.

Maxwell Hill Elementary first grade student Jennaleah Toney of Beckley and Victory Baptist Academy third grade student Raegan Wood of Shady Spring will be accepting $500 checks each on behalf of their schools during a 4 p.m. ceremony at the Raleigh County Public Library.

Both students will be accompanied by their parents and school officials. The library is located at 221 N. Kanawha St. in Beckley.

In addition to the $500 school prizes, each essay contest winner will receive $500 invested into a SMART529 college savings plan and be recognized at a statewide awards ceremony in Charleston this fall. At that time, each student will be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win the grand prize, a total of $5,000 invested into a SMART529 account.


After the children and their schools are recognized, SMART529 representatives will be on hand to provide information about all of SMART529’s program offerings. Refreshments will be provided.

Representatives may open accounts for children of any age. Parents or guardians must bring the child’s Social Security number to open an account. Those who open an account before the baby’s first birthday will qualify for a “Bright Babies” grant and receive $100 toward college savings.

SMART529 is West Virginia’s college savings program issued by the West Virginia College Prepaid Tuition and Savings Program Board of Trustees and is administered by Hartford Life. For more information, log onto or

The Treasury does not collect state taxes. Visit the The West Virginia State Tax Department for assistance.

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