April is National Financial Literacy Month, and it’s dedicated to helping Americans improve their financial well-being. To address this issue, Hickam Federal Credit Union has stepped forward in the Kapolei area to sponsor Banzai, a world-class software platform designed to introduce students to adult financial dilemmas.
The program features real life simulations to illustrate the concepts in a fun and meaningful way. Banzai’s award winning curriculum is used by over 27,000 teachers and is available in all 50 states. Hickam Federal Credit Union’s engagement in the program gives teachers the opportunity to provide an innovative, high-quality experience to their students at no cost to them.
Currently, Banzai covers topics such as paying rent, paying auto insurance, saving for unexpected accidents, writing a check, etc. Essentially, the program covers financial decision and dilemmas that the students will encounter one day.
Additionally, Banzai has two programs, the elementary program ranged for 3rd-5th graders. And a middle/high school program, geared towards grades 6-12.
“Students like how the program is online and interactive.” said Patrick Ena, Economics Teacher at Kapolei High School. “I like that it reinforces the concepts that we cover in class, especially the concepts that are not quite relevant to them yet, but will be very soon, like credit and credit scores and saving for retirement. Students liked the concrete examples that Banzai provided. It takes the concepts and scenarios and makes a game out of it. Students enjoyed challenging themselves and some “played” several times to get better scores. So, I think they found it relevant or soon to be relevant for them so they found it engaging. Another component of the program I like is that it covers most of the basic concepts of personal finance and students start at all different levels. Some need budgeting while others need an introduction to taxes and others may be ready for credit and the program starts with basics and works students up to the more complicated concepts after they understand the basics.”
Although April is the National Financial Literacy Month, this free financial literacy program is an on-going effort. Banzai is currently partnered with 450 banks and credit unions nationwide.