Giving back to Kansas City one school tour at a time
Winston Churchill once said, “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”
At UMB Bank, we encourage all our associates to live by this philosophy and to give back to the communities in which we serve. We do that in numerous ways: offering our associates two paid days of volunteer time off; encouraging associates to serve on nonprofit and civic committees and boards; and amplifying our associates’ financial contributions to nonprofit organizations with a matching gift program, among others.
In Kansas City, one of the most popular – and anticipated – events for our volunteers is the American Royal School Tours. This volunteer event is so well received and enjoyed by our teams that UMB was recently awarded an honorable mention distinction during the American Bankers Association Community Commitment Awards‡.
The American Royal Association‡ began hosting school tours more than 40 years ago to teach children about the importance of agriculture in their daily lives. Designed for students in second through fourth grades, the tours provide children with hands-on demonstrations and educational tours that exhibit the importance of successfully integrating agriculture, animal science and technology to create local and global food systems.
Every year, students from around the Kansas City area visit the American Royal for the tours, which include everything from spinning wool and how bees work together, to milking stations and a petting zoo. This year, the tours welcomed more than 5,000 children.
In 2016, UMB debuted the “UMB Market” at the school tours. The market is designed to teach children the value of money and its relation to food, directly tying together two of UMB’s community involvement emphasis areas — agriculture and financial education. This interactive financial education exhibit simulates shopping and checking out at a grocery store. In the UMB Market, students are tasked with purchasing items from the five food groups while sticking to a budget. The activity combines what students have learned about nutrition and maintaining a healthy diet with the challenges that come with limited resources.
During the 2018 American Royal School Tours, over the course of just four days, 133 UMB volunteers contributed 688 volunteer hours! We are so thankful that more and more associates get involved each year. This year we saw a more than 26 percent increase in the number of volunteers as well as in increase of 23 percent in the number of hours contributed.
The time and energy our associates give to the American Royal School Tours is amazing. Food and finances impact our daily lives. By helping kids build a solid understanding of money while learning about agriculture UMB volunteers are impacting the future of Kansas City. We’re honored to be able to support the event and look forward to getting even more associates involved next year.
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