UMB’s financial education program recognized with American Bankers Association Foundation Community Engagement Award

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In 2016, UMB Financial Corporation partnered with agricultural education nonprofit, American Royal, to create the UMB Market, a grocery shopping and financial education simulation that encourages students to make healthy purchases on a budget. After switching to a virtual format in 2020 due to COVID-19, the UMB market has experienced further growth in the United States and internationally. In recognition of this program, UMB Financial Corporation was named the 2021 Financial Education Laureate American Bankers Association (ABA) Foundation Community Service Award??, an honor that recognizes educational initiatives that promote financial inclusion and help relevant audiences to acquire personal finance knowledge.

Bank and barbecue collaborate

In Kansas City, barbecue and banking are two of the community’s oldest and most powerful economic engines. So it seemed only natural that the two came together to create a program that would benefit thousands of children. Thus, the UMB and American Royal?? created the UMB market during the American Royal Field Trip.

The UMB Marketplace was established in September 2016 and was designed to teach children about the value of money and its relationship to food. The exhibit directly links two of the important areas of UMB’s community engagement – agriculture and financial education. This interactive financial education exhibit simulates shopping and going out in a grocery store. The activity combines what students have learned about nutrition, limited resources, and the need to purchase foods from the five major food groups to maintain healthy diets while staying on a budget.

Market transition to a virtual learning experience

Before 2020, children would split into small groups and team up with UMB volunteers to tour the market with $ 20. Once they’re done shopping, students go to the register, where a UMB volunteer / cashier has reviewed the student’s math and verified it. The students counted the money to pay their total and, if necessary, the UMB volunteer gave them change – ringing a cowbell when the group managed to buy items from all the food groups for $ 20 or less. If a group miscalculated or spent too much money, UMB volunteers helped them adjust their purchasing selections and recalculate their calculations.

In 2020, still keen to provide that same high-quality financial education to students despite the global pandemic, the UMB and the American Royal took the virtual UMB marketplace and were able to reach an estimated 9,065 students in 26 states – and have even had the participation of two foreign countries. The virtual market has been modified so that it can be completed by children independently at home or together in a classroom. The conversion to a digital curriculum transformed the physical outing of over 4,000 participating students over four days to a virtual format with monthly lessons that delve deeper into agricultural and financial education topics.

Accessible financial education videos

The UMB Marketplace includes several short videos and worksheets to simulate budgeting and grocery scenarios similar to what students experienced in person. In the first video, the students were able to discover financial management at any age thanks to the advice of UMB employees. When it comes to developing financial skills, a vital first step is to develop a budget. In the video, basic money saving concepts are covered by the “spend, save and share” method where you can allocate 50% of a five dollar allowance to a spending pot, 30% to a jar of savings and 20% to a share the jar. This budget shows how you can make sure you have enough money for the things you need and want.

The following three videos showcased different scenarios in which fictional families demonstrate how they use these tools to stay on budget and buy groceries from MyPlate food groups. Participants could immediately put into practice the concepts they had learned through the UMB Virtual Marketplace by using the budget worksheets to plan a meal and make a grocery list for a in-person trip to the store or to order online. . Although the program was designed for grades three through six, kids of all ages could participate and have fun learning and shopping on a budget with video lessons.

UMB Bank is proud to support the American Royal and its mission to be a national platform for agriculture that inspires future leaders and creates an arena for agricultural learning. Children need to understand the value that food plays in their lives, the importance it has on their well-being, and the vast impact that food and Agriculture have on the global economy. The American Royal believes it is important to teach children the necessity of food and agriculture in their daily lives, especially as children move away from rural and agricultural roots.


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