We believe strong communities and economies start with understanding your own finances. Heartland Bank continues to partner with Banzai to provide a free financial literacy program that is engaging and interactive to schools in our communities.

"Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program. Kids get their own accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life," Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai, said. "But because Heartland Bank 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 Heartland Bank realizes that and they're doing something about it."

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 Heartland Bank to improve financial literacy in local schools.”

Right now, we are sponsoring schools in Fillmore County, Amherst, Ord, Sutton, Hastings, Elm Creek,  to make this curriculum free for teachers to use in their classrooms. 

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit the website for more information.

Jenni Thulin

Jenni is the Assistant Vice President / Marketing Director for Heartland Bank. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Kearney in Public Relations. Jenni enjoys spending time at Johnson Lake with her husband and three children, watching her children's activities and remodeling projects.

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