Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money as SIU Credit Union is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make curriculum available to 18 schools completely free within Union, Jackson, Franklin, Jefferson, Johnson, Williamson, Perry, Saline and Washington counties.

"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, co-founder of Banzai. "But because SIU 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, and SIU 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 20,000 teachers and available in all 50 states.

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit siucu.teachbanzai.com or contact Kim Babington at 618-457-3595 ext. 2010, or kim.babington@siucu.org.

— The Southern

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