Banzai teaches financial curriculum to Western Slope students

Published: Jan. 13, 2016 at 10:02 PM MST
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Over 17,000 teachers nationwide are using an online curriculum to help their students learn the language of money.

Banzai Life Scenarios was started in 2007 by a former investment advisor to keep young adults from learning the hard way. Teachers get the curricula that help them meet educational requirements for free.

"My daughter takes a picture of her checks and is able to send that," said Phylis Fagrelius, an Ouray Elementary Teacher.

Fagrelious is applying an economic way to teach financial literacy to the next generation.

"By having this and having it online, like the kids said it was interactive, it’s the way they learn," she said.

Chelsea Rosty sums up why NuVista Credit Union is sponsoring it in classrooms.

"We want to build future leaders and we want to build future successful people," said Chelsea Rosty, vice president of marketing and community relations.

Before successfully completing the entire Banzai course, Ouray's sixth graders start with a pretest.

For Charlie Tyler, some of the answers were common sense.

"Like not to spend money on things you don't need," said Charlie Tyler, an Ouray sixth grader.

Anna Bartschi, 6th grader, said there were also terms that didn't add up...

"All this different stuff about the vocabulary of checks and I didn't really know any of that," Bartschi said.

Fagrelius said it will give her students the confidence they need to succeed financially

"Probably the hardest part about being an adult is the finances", she said.

And skills they can cash in for a lifetime.

Currently there aren't any schools in the Grand Junction area using the life scenarios program. Interested teachers can visit to inquire and Banzai staff will find a sponsor in your area.