(WTNH) – Dream big, but take steps now. That was the message one public official shared with elementary school students in Hartford’s north end.

The focus was saving money for higher education. As News 8’s Samaia Hernandez explains, students don’t seem to have any trouble dreaming big.

September is National College Savings Month, and a special group of fifth graders go an education in savings for post-secondary education.

“No matter what your drams are, what you do today matters,” said Shawn Wooden, CT State Treasurer.

Now time to dream big was the message State Treasurer Shawn Wooden shared with a 5th grade class at SAND School in the same north end community where he grew up.

Wooden asked students about their dreams. Some wanted to be basketball and football players, others artists. One wants to provide shelter for the homeless.

They need money for schooling and Wooden wants them to participate in a competition to win money as part of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust or CHET, which Wooden’s office oversees. It’s a state-run college savings program.

Wooden’s office donated earbuds to help with in-person and remote learning amid a pandemic.

You know it take preparation, right. None of it just happens. It starts with the idea, it starts with thinking about it and then figuring our what are the steps to go about realizing your dream,” Wooden said.

“I’m standing on something that can be considered a foundation, something that is strong. This is an opportunity for you all to have a strong foundation as you think about college and career,” said Superintendent Leslie Torres-Rodriguez.

The last day of the competition is the first day of fall, September 22. To learn more head to https://www.fidelity.com/about-chet/dream-big-competition