Illinois Community Credit Union Makes Award-Winning Financial Literacy Program Free for Local Classrooms


Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money. Illinois Community Credit Union is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make the curriculum available to 5 schools in the Sycamore area completely free.

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

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 35,000 teachers and available in all
50 states.

April is National Financial Literacy Month, and it’s dedicated to helping Americans
improve their financial well-being. We’re making an extra effort to spread awareness to
teachers about a free financial literacy program available to them. Illinois Community
Credit Union has offered time, money, industry experience, and a variety of credit union
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.

“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 Illinois Community Credit Union to improve financial literacy in local schools.”

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