Originally posted on www.houmatoday.com
Banzai, an interactive online program that also includes printed workbooks, aligns with state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. Banzai services more than 25,000 teachers and is available in all 50 states.
“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 Banzai. “But because MidSouth Bank 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 MidSouth Bank realizes that and they’re doing something about it.”
MidSouth Bank, which has locations in Houma, Thibodaux and Cut Off, offers time, money, industry experience and a variety of bank resources to help local schools teach personal finance in the classroom, according to a news release. Banzai exposes students who use the program to real-life scenarios such as paying bills and balancing a budget.
Learning to manage unexpected expenses such as parking tickets, interest charges and overdraft fees, as well as expenses such as auto loans, bank statements, entertainment costs and savings, are also things students experience with Banzai.
“MidSouth Bank is honored to purchase financial literacy teaching material to support schools in the communities in which we serve, teaching children the importance of saving at an early age with hopes of them becoming great money managers as adults,” said LaCarsha Babers, community outreach specialist for MidSouth Bank.
Currently, Ellender Memorial High School is the only school in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes that uses the Banzai program, but teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit bankmidsouth.teachbanzai.com or call 888-8-BANZAI for information.
“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 MidSouth Bank to improve financial literacy in local schools.”