In the News

FAFCU Makes Financial Literacy Program Free for Local Classrooms

REGION – Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money.

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Forest Area Federal Credit Union is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make curriculum available and free to Fife Lake, Kalkaska, Kingsley, Mancelona and Manton schools.

“Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program,” said Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai. “Kids get their own accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life. But because Forest Area Federal Credit Union 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 Forest Area Federal Credit Union realizes that and they’re doing something about it,” he stated.

Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by printed workbooks which aligns with state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 25,000 teachers and is available in all 50 states.

Forest Area Federal Credit Union has offered time, money, industry experience and a variety of bank resources to help local schools teach personal finance in the classroom. Students using the program are exposed to real-life scenarios where they learn to pay bills and balance a budget – but it’s not always easy. Students must learn to manage unexpected expenses such as parking tickets, interest charges and overdraft fees.

The educational program also introduces students to auto loans, bank statements, entertainment costs, savings and more.

“Our credit union’s philosophy is ‘neighbors helping neighbors,’ so we are very excited to be able to sponsor the Banzai program in our communities schools,” said Nicole Gibson, teller/community education liaison for Forest Area Federal Credit Union. “We believe in our members’ financial well-being and we are eager to help students learn about financial responsibility.” Vandagriff agreed with that philosophy.

“Too often students get out of school and they just aren’t ready for the financial roller coasters life can give us,” he said. “Banzai teaches students to navigate those twists and turns and come out on top. We’re excited to work with Forest Area Federal Credit Union to improve financial literacy in local schools.”

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

Banzai interactive courses are fun and FREE. Go ahead.