Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money. Northern Credit Union is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make the curriculum available to 100 schools in the Watertown, Boonville, Carthage, Lowville, and Pulaski areas completely 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. “But because Northern 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. Northern 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 35,000 teachers and available in all 50 states.
Northern Credit Union has offered time, money, industry experience, and a variety of credit union resources to help localschools 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. We’re excited to work with Northern Credit Union to improve financial literacy in local schools.”
Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit northern.teachbanzai.com or call 888-8-BANZAI.