Kids learn how to save, spend and share money at BMO’s Bango’s Brunch
October 1, 2015
Meet Bango. He’s a friendly, furry, six-foot-tall deer — well, a buck, actually. He loves kids, he dances like a pro and he’s the mascot of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team. As a close pal of the folks at BMO Harris Bank, Bango is also a bit more financially savvy than your average deer, and recognizes the importance of teaching kids early on about managing money.
This past spring, Bango helped us gather more than 130 Milwaukee-area kids and their parents, invited by several local nonprofits, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center (the Bucks’ home turf) for a day of food, fun, basketball — and financial education.
It was a great recipe for teaching kids the basics of managing money. Starting with $20 (play money), the kids could “save, spend and share” at each of three booths, staffed by employee volunteers. As they visited the booths, the kids were taught a bit about the importance of each of these facets of handling money:
Save Booth: Volunteers read kids the story “Pig Tale,” about two pigs named Bertha and Briggs who find a treasure chest and then realize that spending all the money didn’t make them happy pigs at all. Kids received a SAVE sticker, and a “Pig Tale” coloring book and crayons to take home.
Spend Booth: Children could choose to spend their money on BMO Harris- and Bucks-branded items like water bottles and sunglasses. If they “bought” anything, they got a SPEND sticker to wear.
Share Booth: Kids were invited to donate their remaining money to one, two or all three Milwaukee-based nonprofit organizations; once they donated, they got their third sticker, SHARE. BMO Harris matched the “donations” to each nonprofit (with real money).
If kids got all three stickers, they were given a square-shaped bank with four slots. A quarter had been placed in each slot by our volunteers, to start them on their new path to saving their money.
Meanwhile, parents were invited to visit a separate area where they learned about the Talk With Our Kids About Money program, developed by our partner, CFEE. The website includes tools and resources for parents to work money conversations into day-to-day interactions with their kids. They were also given a code, courtesy of Everfi, one of our financial education partners, that enables them to access an online financial learning module for young adults and parents.
Not to be forgotten was Bango — and Hubert the Lion, our bank's mascot — who were ready and waiting to escort kids and parents to Bango’s Brunch, where they could interact with these two furry friends.
After the brunch, attendees were guests of BMO Harris and the Milwaukee Bucks at a basketball game, where the Bucks beat the Brooklyn Nets — a perfect ending to a day of food, fun, financial education and basketball.