Free program teaches local students about financial literacy

Published 11:18 am Wednesday, April 10, 2019

By NATHAN HOWELL / Staff Writer


BIRMINGHAMUnderstanding how to manage finances is one of the most important skills needed by young adults. Now local students have the opportunity to learn the importance of financial literacy and fiscal responsibility through a free program known as Banzai.

Banzai is “a world-class software platform designed to introduce students to adult financial dilemmas,” according to Nicole Hillman, Banzai public relations. “The program features real-life simulations to illustrate financial concepts in a fun and meaningful way.”

Thanks to a partnership with eCO Credit Union, the software has been made available to teachers at 36 local schools, including Bethany Bishop, family and consumer sciences teacher, from Oak Mountain Middle School.

Bishop explained that she has been using Banzai for the past six years as an addition to the “careers and money management” section of her lesson plan.

“I think it makes the information that I am teaching seem a lot more relevant than having me stand in front of the classroom and try to drill home these concepts,” she said. “They just don’t do as well when they’re forced to sit and put pen to paper.”

The program offers games to help reinforce some of the concepts the students are learning. Bishop said the games allow the students to make their own decisions based on what they have learned in a way that is “so appropriate for this generation.”

Bishop explained that while core classes are very important for the development of students, Family and Consumer Sciences teaches tangible ways to apply those core classes in the real life.

“Regardless of what life and career path a student chooses, they will all need to know how to manage their money, how to pick out and prepare nutritious foods, and how to maintain healthy family relationships,” she said.

Teachers or organizations interested in implementing Banzai in their classes can find more information at