GENESEE COUNTY — Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money. Dort Federal Credit Union is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make curriculum available to 158 teachers and thousands of students in 177 elementary, middle and high schools in the Flint area completely free.
“Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program,” said Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai.
“Kids get their own accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life,” Vandagriff said. “But, because Dort Federal 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 Dort Federal 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 is available in all 50 states. Dort Federal Credit Union started sponsoring the program in 2013.
Dort Federal 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.
“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 Dort Federal Credit Union to improve financial literacy in local schools.”
Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit dort.teachbanzai.com, or call 888-8-BANZAI. — T.T.