Enfield High School is taking innovative steps to give students a crash course in financial literacy.
Students use Banzai, a software platform that gives them a chance to deal with real-world problems like budgeting, managing debt, and reconciling bank statements.
Banzai is sponsored by local credit unions. For Enfield High, American Eagle Federal Credit Union stepped up to fund the program for the students.
“Our objective is continuing financial education with a focus on youth,” said Richard Marinelli, marketing manager of AEFCU.
Marinelli said the credit union would like to fund Banzai for every school, but it would be financially impossible.
Credit union representatives make visits to classrooms and expand upon the knowledge students are obtaining through the game.
“We really enjoy giving the complimentary presentations,” Marinelli said. “We’re there to help the students.”
Students and teachers are also appreciative of the program.
The online portal allows space for student and teacher feedback, and Marinelli said that more often than not the feedback is positive.
Kimberly Bender, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Enfield High School, says she enjoys teaching the program, and that the students enjoy using it.
“It was pretty hilarious to watch them go through the processes of adult life,” she said.
Banzai also has programs for middle and elementary schools, but for now, AEFCU wants to focus on young adults who are beginning to make their first financial decisions independent of their parents.
Originally published by the Journal Inquirer.