In the News

First Merchants Bank Provides Remote-Learning Financial Literacy Program for Local Schools

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

Originally posted on

(November 5, 2020) -- Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money. First Merchants Bank is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make online, remote-friendly curriculum available to 55 schools in Adams, Clinton, Cook, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Jasper, Jay, Johnson, Madison, Marion, Miami, Morgan, Randolph, Shelby, Union, Wabash, and White Counties completely free.

“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. “But because First Merchants 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 First Merchants Bank realizes that and they’re doing something about it.”

Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by prin ted workbooks and aligns with Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. The course work can be completed on any internet enabled computer or mobile device, and teachers are able to monitor student progress remotely. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 60,000 teachers nationwide.

First Merchants Bank 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.

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit or call 888-822-6924

Banzai interactive courses are fun and FREE. Go ahead.