The Clewiston News

Financial program for classrooms

CLEWISTON — Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money. Everglades Federal Credit Union is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make the curriculum available to 7 schools in the Clewiston and Moore Haven 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 Everglades 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. Everglades 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 35,000 teachers and available in all 50 states.

Everglades 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 Everglades Federal Credit Union to improve financial literacy in local schools.”

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit evergladesfcu.teachbanzai.com or call 888-8-BANZAI.