Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money. Missouri Valley Federal Credit Union (St. Peters) is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make curriculum available to St. Charles County 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," says Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai. "Since Missouri Valley 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 Missouri Valley realizes that and they're doing something about it."
Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by printed workbooks that align with state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. In 2010, the Institute for Financial Literacy awarded Banzai the Curriculum of the Year award. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 10,000 schools in all 50 states.
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 Missouri Valley to improve financial literacy in St. Charles County.”
Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit movfcu.teachbanzai.com or call 888-8-BANZAI.
Banzai is an award-winning, financial literacy program that teaches high school and middle school students basic, financial concepts through real-life scenarios. Banzai began in 2008 and was awarded the Curriculum of the Year Award from the Institute of Financial Literacy in 2010. The online program is used in all 50 states by more than 10,000 schools.