While politicians and commentators are busy finding people and institutions to blame for out-of-control government spending and irresponsible lending practices, Central Bank of Kansas City is focusing its efforts on teaching Kansas City citizens how to take control of their personal finances and be responsible consumers. Beginning with its co-sponsorship of the first annual Financial Fitness Week in 2008 (renamed Money Smart Week); Central Bank has helped present educational programs to hundreds of adults, teens and children.
Money Smart Month 2011 was co-sponsored by Central Bank of Kansas City along with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, United Way, FDIC, Consumer Credit Counseling Services and others. It included 342 educational events designed to encourage sound financial behavior. There was a 50% increase in participation in 2011 with a total of 6200 attendees at all the events.
During Money Smart Month 2011, classes focused on such important topics as budgeting, living on a fixed income, home buying, investing, credit reports, digging out of debt, alternatives to payday loans and small business ownership. Participants also learned about the financial education services available for Kansas City area residents. Central Bank of Kansas City presented 18 of these events with 295 participants and involved all the officers in the bank. Central Bank also sponsors the Money Smart High School Video Contest. This yearís winners are all from Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. For more information about the initiative, go to www.moneysmartkc.org.
Money Smart Month is not the only time that Central Bank teaches financial literacy. It is a passion of Bill Dana, CEO and President and an ongoing priority for the community we serve. Every month, Central Bank holds a Money Smart Class for their customers in the bank. This class began in July 2008 and is now offered once a month at the Main Branch. We have had over 200 attendees that have learned some great basics on budgeting, credit and account management. This workshop has become very popular, and it is our way to help our customers become more educated on money management issues. Central Bank not only pays for the instruction, but also offers overdraft customers up to half of their overdraft fees (up to $100) refunded back to their account when they attend the class(please see a customer service representative for details).
Central Bank is also involved in many programs promoting financial literacy including Bank On-Save Up KC, Kansas City Saves, KC CASH Coalition, The United Way Financial Stability Task Force, K.C.ís Financial Tools Task Force, ABA Teach Kids to Save Day, and ABA Get Smart About Credit. Churches, schools and non-profits are just some of the places that we teach workshops to help the community become better educated in personal financial matters. We have presented to the following organizations: Awesome Ambitions (9th grade urban high school girls), Don Bosco High School, Don Bosco Senior Center, Newhouse Shelter for Women, St. Markís Child Care Center, Greenworks, Lincoln College Prep Academy, HEDC, Freedom Schools, Urban Ranger Corps, Alta Vista High School, Penn Valley Community College, Police Athletic League, Culinary Cornerstones, Don Bosco Family Center, Mattie Rhodes Family Center, Family Conservancy, Manuel Technical Center, and the Boys and Girls Club of Kansas City.