ROCKFORD – Flinn Middle School students in David Barelli’s class get hands on experience making decisions about money using Banzai.
He says, “It’s a program that gives the kids the opportunity to go through some life scenarios and understand what a budget is and what a budget does for them. How to use a check book and a credit card.”
Guilford High School teacher Peter Riportella uses Banzai in some of his classes too. He says the financial literacy program gives kids real world experience when it comes to money management. He says, “They each are assigned a job. They’re given salary and then they just work their way through a weekly or monthly scenario.”
Students gain a better understanding of what their financial future could look like.
Barelli says for many students going through the budgeting process is an eye opening experience. “By having them pick out a career. Find out what the salary pays for that career and then put together a budget. Including everything from shopping for food, clothes, housing, car all those items, sundries, all those items. They start to go, “Wow, it is expensive!”
Just learning what things cost and the financial responsibilities most adults face every day can be daunting.
Riportella says, “Paying bills for their rent, insurance, car payment. Going out to eat. Going to the movies. Things like that.”
Riportella says it’s important to teach students about personal money management and how to spend responsibly to prepare them for a successful future. “With student debt a big concern nowadays, hopefully it helps them to focus on not getting so much debt when they’re working their way through college.”