Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money. ISU Credit Union is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make curriculum available to Pocatello, Ammon, Burley, and Rupert schools completely free.
“Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program. Kids get their own accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life,” Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai, said. “But because ISU 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, and ISU Credit Union realizes that and they’re doing something about it.”
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 27,000 teachers and available in all 50 states.
ISU 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.
BJ Fillingame, Marketing Manager of ISU Credit Union, said “At ISU Credit Union we are deeply passionate about working with our youth to help them become wise stewards of their money. It’s our responsibly as a credit union to teach and provide the necessary resources to assist them with the learning process. Banzai has been instrumental in helping us achieve our financial literacy goals with our local youth.”
We know teachers need a resource for an often mandated, but also underfunded curriculum of financial literacy. We also know that financial literacy has yet to achieve standard curriculum status: finding quality resources poses a real challenge. As a not-for-profit financial institution, we’re deeply interested in helping young people become wise stewards of their money. And, as a credit union, we’re experts in teaching fiscal responsibility. For that reason, we’re offering Banzai – an award-winning financial literacy program – to teachers and their students at no cost.
“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. We’re excited to work with ISU Credit Union to improve financial literacy in local schools.”
Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit isucu.teachbanzai.com or call 888-8-BANZAI.