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Arizona Central Offers Fin Lit in Phoenix Schools

Thanks to Arizona Central Credit Union, local teachers now have an award-winning tool to teach students how to manage money.

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The $404 million state-chartered cooperative based in Phoenix recently introduced Banzai, a financial literacy program, to middle and high schools in Maricopa, Pima and Coconino counties.

Banzai, which is currently being used in more than 10,000 schools in 50 states, is an interactive, online program that aligns with state curriculum requirements for personal finance education and includes printed workbooks, the credit union said.

The program, which earned the Institute for Financial Literacy’s Curriculum of the Year Award in 2010, is provided at no charge to teachers as part of Arizona Central’s educational efforts, the credit union said.

“More than ever, it’s important that kids develop sound financial skills to prepare them for the real world, and Arizona Central realizes that and they’re doing something about it,” said Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai.

The program uses real-life scenarios to enable students to learn how to pay bills, balance a budget and manage unexpected expenses such as parking tickets, interest charges and overdraft fees, the company said.

Banzai also introduces students to auto loans, savings accounts, account statements and other banking concepts, the company said.

“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.”

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit or call 888-8-BANZAI.

Banzai interactive courses are fun and FREE. Go ahead.