Originally posted on UpperMichigansSource.com
In Mrs. Koski’s 8th grade class you can hear her students talking about their savings accounts, and the importance of buying insurance with smiles on their faces. It’s all because of Banzai!, a free program given to the school from TruNorth Credit Union.
“This is all kind of part of the credit union philosophy,” said Shae Kangas, member advocate at TruNorth. “A credit union exists to support their local community and anything that we can do to support financial literacy for young people in our community is good for the credit union, our local economy, it’s good for everyone.”
At Father Marquette Middle School they began the interactive program last year. It has individual lessons for students as well as a game where they encounter real life scenarios and have to budget and save for them.
“It builds huge awareness; right now they have the idea that what they want they can get, it’s attainable,” said teacher Jill Koski. “It’s just giving them scenarios of what’s real world out there what mom and dad deal with.”
With the one to one program, students are able to log on anytime, and they do. They enjoy the program and are learning a lot that will help them in the future.
“I didn’t register my car and I ended up being 12 dollars short of college because of a fine that you got. That was stupid I guess,” said eighth grader Amanda Diddams.
“Make the money don’t spend it all on one really expensive thing because then you won’t have enough money in the end,” said eighth grader Noah Beauchamp.
“I think it’s pretty realistic because there is definitely consequences and rewards to this game,” said Mollie Kilpela, eighth grade.
Currently 10 schools participate in the program, but TruNorth hope other schools take advantage of the program into the future.