Originally posted on wahpetondailynews.com
Gate City Bank, Wahpeton, partnered with Banzai, a financial literacy program, to bring free remote classes to 20 area schools. Wahpeton High School, along with schools in Burleigh, Clay, Douglas, Grand Forks, Morton, Otter Tail, Ramsey, Richland, Walsh and Williams counties have access to financial education through the classes.
Banzai helps 60,000 teachers nationwide, and is the largest financial literacy program of its kind in the country. The program focuses on real-life scenarios like paying rent, choosing auto insurance, rainy day funds and paying for college.
"Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program. Kids get their own accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life," Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai, said in a press release. "But because Gate City 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 Gate City Bank realizes that and they're doing something about it."
Wahpeton High School Principal Ned Clooten said he had not yet heard of the program, but he was interested in spreading the word to his teachers like Terry Motl, high school business teacher.
The program is designed to be used by students who are remote learning due to COVID-19, Banzai Public Relations Lizzie Fitts wrote in an email.
Popular courses in the program deal with budgeting, and help students track income and expenses through the double-entry method. Another course lets students take control of everyday financial decisions through trial and error, so they can see the potential effects of their choices.
The courses for Banzai Teen target complicated topics like credit cards, auto loans, and insurance, according to Banzai’s website.
“Gate City Bank has offered time, money, industry experience and a variety of bank resources to help local schools teach personal finance in the classroom … We are hoping to make local teachers aware of this tool they can use in their classrooms at no cost,” Fitts wrote.