Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money thanks to a partnership of the Family Credit Union and Banzai, an award-winning financial literacy program that makes free online curriculum available to 53 schools in Bartow, Cherokee, Dallas, Etowah, Gordon, Jackson, Paulding and Polk counties.
“Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program. Kids get their own accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life,” said Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of the nationwide Banzai program. “But because the Family 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 the Family Credit Union realizes that and they’re doing something about it.”
Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by printed workbooks and aligns with Alabama and Georgia state curriculum requirements for personal finance education.
“I would like to take the time to express my gratitude to our sponsor, Kris Skiles at Family Credit Union,” said Pam Stanley, a teacher using the program. “Our students went virtual the day we got our books. I plan to get them started as soon as we return after summer. This just gives me more time to make myself familiar with the program. I think the students are really going to enjoy this program.”
The Banzai course work can be completed on any internet-enabled computer or mobile device, and teachers are able to monitor student progress remotely. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 60,000 teachers nationwide.
Family Savings 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.
Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit familycu.teachbanzai.com or call 888-822-6924.