Did you know that GHS sponsors a highly regarded financial literacy program for several schools in our local area? This is just one of the many ways GHS is able to give back to our community. We promote financial growth and awareness among children in grades 7 through 12. The program we sponsor is Banzai – https://ghsfcu.teachbanzai.com/
What is Banzai!?
Banzai is a financial literacy program that GHS sponsors for local schools, to teach personal finance through interactive scenarios and expose students to real-life adult financial dilemmas. We have helped introduce this program to over 22 classes and within 5 schools, impacting over 350 students in just the past year. Our Business Development team, Jenn and Taylor, kick off the program by visiting each class to familiarize them with financial terms and have open discussion about the financial responsibilities of life. Teachers are then able to customize the program to fit their curriculum, spending between 2-6 weeks with Banzai. When they finish, Jenn and Taylor revisit the classes to award students who completed the full course, with an official Banzai Certificate of Completion and gift certificate, to open their own GHS Savings Account.
What does Banzai cover exactly?
Banzai sheds light on most of the major hurdles that students can face when they must stretch a paycheck over life’s expenses. Using real-life scenarios and role playing, this program helps students learn how to correctly prioritize their spending decisions. Students quickly see the connection between financial decisions and funding important personal goals – like college.
How do students learn these skills?
After our Business Development team introduces Banzai to the class, each student starts the course by taking a pre-test to better gauge a baseline for their financial literacy. Then the learning really starts, as they navigate through 32 life-based scenarios covering everything from balancing a budget to adjusting for unexpected bills, like car trouble or health problems. Once they finish those fun exercises, they complete the program by playing an interactive game, where they are challenged to use their newly acquired financial knowledge and skills. The students are dropped into a final scenario where they have just graduated high school, have a job, and must budget their income and expenses in order to save $2,000 for college and win the game. Not every student gets the same unexpected challenges, so they are forced to make their decisions on their own.
Just like real-life, they are constantly tempted to misspend their income and face the consequences of those actions. Students learn to handle rent, gas, groceries, taxes, car payments, and life’s surprise emergencies. Many students enjoy it so much that if they are not successful winning the first time around, they will challenge themselves again, of course trying to learn from their previous decisions and avoid making the same mistakes….as many adults do every day in real life.
When they finish, they take a post-test to measure improvement in their financial literacy. Every class that GHS has sponsored has had an increase in Financial Literacy from pre-test to post-test. More importantly, these students have a new found awareness and appreciation for the skills, discipline and responsibility it takes to manage finances and ensure a financially secure future.
Here are some photos of the classes we attended during the 2016-2017 school year;