Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money.
1st Summit Bank is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make the curriculum available to eight schools in the Johnstown, Portage, Sidman, and Hollidaysburg areas for free.
“Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program. Kids have their own bank accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life,” Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai, said in a news release. “But because 1st Summit Bank is sponsoring it, local schools get it for free. More than ever, it’s important that kids develop sound financial skills to prepare them for the real world.”
Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by printed workbooks which aligns with state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 35,000 teachers and available in all 50 states.
1st Summit has offered time, money, industry experience and a variety of bank resources to help local schools teach personal finance in the classroom. Students using the program are exposed to real-life scenarios where they learn to pay bills and balance a budget — but it’s not always easy. Students must learn to manage unexpected expenses such as parking tickets, interest charges and overdraft fees. The educational program also introduces students to auto loans, bank statements, entertainment costs, savings and more.
“Too often students get out of school and they just aren’t ready for the financial roller coasters life can give us,” Vandagriff said. “Banzai teaches students to navigate those twists and turns and come out on top.”
Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit 1stsummit.teachbanzai.com or call 888-8-BANZAI.