August 29, 2018
In the 2017 – 2018 academic year, nine Saratoga and Warren County middle and high schools implemented a free, digital financial education program called Banzai. The Adirondack Trust Company sponsored this program with Banzai, a free, online financial literacy program that teaches students about adult financial situations. The program reached more than 950 students through nine different school programs.
Adirondack Trust Company’s Executive Vice President, Charles Wait, Jr. said, “Our company is proud to provide local students with the essential tools and skills they need to make sound financial decisions. Financial education is critical part of a young person’s education. It is increasingly important for everyone to understand topics such as budgeting, savings, and investing in order to be successful throughout their lives.”
Students’ understanding of key financial topics rose by an average of 20% based on pre- and post-assessment scores. Among the valuable topics covered were savings, banking, investing, renting versus owning, credit scores, financing higher education, and consumer protection.
One teacher from the Mechanicville City School District, said, “I want to thank the Adirondack Trust Company for providing this program for my students to use. Financial literacy is just one of the many necessary skills students should learn before they leave high school, and many don’t. This program has meaning and students find it challenging, at first, then very rewarding.”
The Adirondack Trust Company’s partnership with Banzai brings the program to local students at no cost to the schools or to the taxpayer. Banzai features three financial literacy courses: Banzai Junior, for elementary-age students, Banzai Teen, for junior and senior high schools and Banzai Plus, a new, advanced course for high school-age students. The program is flexible and is designed to fit the teacher’s schedule. Teachers are also provided with the Teacher’s Edition of Life Scenarios, which contains additional resources to expand the curriculum, while students complete the activities online. Local schools or school administrators can reach out to the bank directly to learn more about participating in the program.