Apr 16, 2018 2018-04-16
Banzai, a free personal finance curriculum, teaches students how to prioritize spending decisions through real-life scenarios. Banzai Junior is designed for elementary-grade students (aged 8–12); Banzai Teen, for middle, junior high, and high school students (aged 13–18); and Banzai Plus, for advanced classes (aged 16 and up). Teachers can choose the difficulty level for their students, who start the course with a pretest to determine a baseline for their financial literacy. They then engage in 32 life-based interactive scenarios covering everything from balancing a budget to adjusting for unexpected bills, such as car trouble or health problems. After they’ve completed these exercises, students imagine that they have just graduated from high school, have a job, and must save $2,000 to start college. They are constantly tempted to misspend their limited income and must face the consequences of those actions by basing their decisions on what they learned in the 32 scenarios. Along the way, students juggle rent, gas, groceries, taxes, car payments, and life’s ever-present emergencies. At the end of the program, they take a posttest to measure improvement in their financial literacy. The program includes both print and digital materials, and takes about eight hours (depending on the student) to complete. The website includes content outlines to help teachers align Banzai’s Life Scenarios with their state’s curriculum standards for financial literacy.