Fall River Municipal Credit Union was established on Feb. 6, 1930 and through the years has continued to seek out opportunities to aid members in improving their financial situation. Whether providing a means to save for planned events or expenditures or providing affordable loans for major purchases, FRMCU has always sought out products and services to aid members in becoming responsible and educated consumers.
As the financial landscape continues to change and become faster, more complex and instantly available through mobile and online channels, there is a need for consumers to better understand basic financial topics. Learning about insurance, saving for a home or basic budgeting are keys to improving one’s financial future.
In discussions with the credit union’s Junior Advisory Board, made up of area junior and senior high school students, the topic of Financial Literacy in schools was brought up recently. The students in attendance shared their concern about the lack of financial literacy in their schools. Two of the Advisory Board members, Isabelle Toth and Rebecca Knight, seniors at Bristol Plymouth Regional Technical High School and members of the schools DECA program stated “Massachusetts is leading the way for advanced heath care, technology, science and reputable education. However regarding financial literacy, Massachusetts falls far behind on pushing towards personal finance curriculums”.
Their passion to help improve financial literacy in schools led them to develop and implement an in-depth financial literacy curriculum as part of their current DECA project. Their long-term solution would be “to provide a solution to the lack of financial literacy in the Massachusetts’ public school system,” they stated.
That’s why Fall River Municipal Credit Union is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make the curriculum available to 10 schools in the Fall River area completely free. Berkley Middle School and Somerset Berkley Regional High School have already joined with Fall River Municipal Credit Union in this financial literacy program.
“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.
“But because Fall River Municipal Credit Union 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. Fall River Municipal Credit Union realizes that, and they’re doing something about it.”
Banzai is an interactive, online program which aligns with standard curriculum requirements for personal finance education. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 45,000 teachers and available in all 50 states.
Fall River Municipal Credit Union has offered time, money, industry experience, and a variety of credit union 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. Were excited to work with Fall River Municipal Credit Union to improve financial literacy in local schools.” Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit frmcu.teachbanzai.com or call 888-8-BANZAI.