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UMB and School of Economics Help Kids Build Financial Capabilities

School of Economics (SOE) was founded 27 years ago after local community members and teachers identified a need for economic education and financial literacy among elementary school-age children. UMB was eager to help the organization expand to meet the growing need for high-quality, experiential financial education for kids in Kansas City.

Now with two locations, SOE has capacity to provide an interactive and educational, curriculum-based field trip for an estimated 20,000 Kansas City-area students each year. Over the past three years, UMB and SOE have worked together to expand the program by adding a new location in downtown Kansas City, while working with women- and minority-owned businesses, local artists and community and business leaders to help children learn the basics of personal finance and money management. Learn more about how SOE and UMB have taken an inclusive and deliberate approach to meeting a community need.

 

Understanding the needs of a community and rising to the occasion 

School of Economics at UMB, a 4,000-square-foot space on UMB’s downtown campus, was designed with kids and community in mind. It’s a collaboration between UMB, a more then century-old bank that’s committed to helping people of all ages increase their financial capabilities and SOE, a home-grown nonprofit dedicated to helping the next generation of Kansas Citians become financially savvy.

UMB strategically aligns the bank’s community development programs to address the needs of the communities it serves. By making a long-term commitment, and a significant investment to help SOE expand, UMB is helping address gaps in financial education opportunities.

Engaging minority- and women-owned businesses

When plans began in 2018 for SOE to open a second location on UMB’s downtown campus, there was a concerted effort to work with minority- and women-owned businesses. UMB’s supplier diversity program demonstrates the bank’s commitment to the communities where associates live and work, and the buildout of SOE at UMB provided the opportunity to increase the number of diverse suppliers.

Engaging diverse suppliers was also important because it reflects the students who will visit SOE at UMB. This location is focused on serving urban schools and districts, many of which have a diverse student population representing multiple races and ethnicities.

Learning the basics of personal finance and money management

The SOE program introduces small business management, supply and demand, customer service and essential money management skills. The real-world experience kids have at the SOE introduces them to career options, helps develop leadership skills, encourages teamwork and lets them be in charge — all while tackling the challenges and enjoying the rewards of running a business.

UMB believes it is critical for children to learn the basics of personal finance and money management. By bringing its programming to UMB’s downtown location, SOE can double its impact and provide financial education to even more Kansas City students.

Creating excitement and learning through local art

When students first arrive at SOE’s downtown campus, they are greeted with vibrant visuals that energize their day. The big, bold exterior mural was designed by two local artists,  JT Daniels‡ and Phil Shafer‡ and is a statement piece full of symbolism.

Whether it’s their first visit or they’ve been to SOE at UMB several times, students and teachers continue to explore and discover elements of the artwork. The geometric and graphic backdrop includes a yellow and orange “KC” tucked into the cityscape and represents a gold standard of excellence. Inspirational phrases like “achieve and succeed” and “show respect” cover the building windows and seamlessly integrate into the mural.

Once inside, the fun and art continue. Thanks to the imagination and talent of Antonio “Toni Picasso” Burton‡, visitors are engaged and entertained by the story of a working emoji as they make their way to the School of Economics at UMB.

Collaborating to create a familiar and creative space for learning

The Kansas City region is made up of various neighborhoods, some with bright facades and architectural details and others with towering buildings and shining lights. SOE’s downtown location brings to life the familiar sights from the region’s various areas and neighborhoods. To make this vision a reality, UMB worked with the talented students at the Kansas City Art Institute’s (KCAI) MicroAgency‡. The KCAI students blew everyone away with their artwork and created a stimulating space for learning.

UMB and SOE were dedicated to creating a space that students, parents, teachers and volunteers would enjoy. No matter which part of the region people live in, they’re sure to see familiar landmarks and lifelike storefronts that get them excited for a day of finance made fun!

UMB is committed to continuing to increase financial capability throughout our community through its ongoing work with SOE. Having a positive impact in the community while supporting the vital role SOE is playing in empowering youth through financial education is a testament to UMB’s community commitment.

 

Stay informed on industry trends and noteworthy company news by visiting our UMB in the News section on umb.com. Follow UMB on LinkedIn, Facebook‡ and Twitter‡ to see regular updates about our company, people and timely financial perspectives.


When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s Web site and go to Web sites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other Web sites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.
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