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NBC Gives Students Financial Literacy Tools

Douglas County students are getting free education in the value of a dollar, courtesy of National Bank of Commerce.

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The area’s largest, locally owned bank is teaming up with Banzai, a national financial literacy program, to make the curriculum available free to schools in Douglas County.

The program will be taught to students in the Maple, Solon Springs and Superior school districts by bank staff, said Cammy Hansen, vice president of signature banking for National Bank of Commerce.

“It’s a cool program and we were just super impressed with Banzai,” Hansen said. “It gives real life examples and it’s just a fun program to use. And I think that’s key. You have to make it fun.”

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, serving more than 14,000 teachers in all 50 states, according to company officials.

“Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program. Kids get their own accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life,” said Morgan Vandagriff, cofounder of Banzai. “But because National Bank of Commerce 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 National Bank of Commerce realizes that and they’re doing something about it.”

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.

“One of the bank’s strategic goals is to increase our customers and community’s finance literacy,” Hansen said. “Doing this with students is a great opportunity to introduce students to the financial world and put them on the right path to financial success.”

The goal is to prepare students for financial challenges ahead.

“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. We’re excited to work with National Bank of Commerce to improve financial literacy in Douglas County.”

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

Banzai interactive courses are fun and FREE. Go ahead.