Nusenda Credit Union is helping bring financial literacy training to more than 2,660 New Mexico students and residents, including students from at least one school district in Taos County, according to a news release from Banzai, a program online and a content library that allows users to practice real-world finance from their homes and classrooms.
At a time when a solid foundation of practical financial knowledge is increasingly recognized as an essential part of raising children, these resources will have a huge impact on users, educators said.
“Thank you Nusenda Credit Union for providing us with Banzai workbooks,” said Tracy Galligan, a computer and business teacher at Taos High School. “I’ve been using this program for a few years and it always engages students and makes them think.”
Earlier this year, the New Mexico Department of Public Education adopted new social studies standards that include a financial literacy component in K-12 curricula. The new standards will begin to be implemented in the 2023-2024 school year.
“Public feedback has resulted in three major changes to the standards: the inclusion of personal financial literacy; revising the language throughout to be more concise, consistent and balanced; and editing throughout to ensure that standards describe high-level expectations without suggesting a curriculum,” the audience said. Department of Education said press release announcing the changes in mid-February.
“New Mexico will now join 45 states that have adopted strict personal finance standards,” Abenicio Baldonado, director of education reform for Think New Mexico, said in the statement. “Our students will not only benefit from learning how to manage their own finances, but they will also bring these skills to their parents, grandparents and other family members, helping to tackle intergenerational poverty.”
It remains to be seen to what extent the new financial literacy component will become an integral part of student education in different school districts. Taos High School teacher Mark Barela decided to ask his students how important financial literacy was to them.
He asked students in his financial literacy math class to create an “editorial format” presentation that answers the question, “Should taking a financial literacy course in high school be a requirement for high school graduation? high school diploma in New Mexico?”
“The target audience is the New Mexico State Legislature, and students use what they learn in class, their personal experience, and their family’s experience to support their opinions,” Barela said.
Peñasco Independent School District and Questa Independent School District did not respond to inquiries from Taos News regarding existing or pending financial literacy education strategies at their schools.
With Banzai online courses, students try to manage a budget, save for a goal, and navigate unexpected financial pitfalls. Teachers can monitor and grade student progress remotely. Other resources, including informative articles like “What is Inflation?”, calculators, and personalized coaching sessions explain everything from filing your taxes to how health insurance works . These resources are available at nusenda.teachbanzai.com/wellness.
“Through Nusenda Credit Union, students in the region will now have access to a wide range of courses and resources designed to help them prepare for our increasingly complex world,” said Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai. “We would not be able to provide these tools without their support.
Nusenda Credit Union works with Banzai to build financial literacy in the community by investing time, money, industry experience, and a variety of credit union resources. With their help, students have access to Banzai learning tools, virtual or in-class presentations from a Nusenda Credit Union expert, and class visits to a branch to see it all in person.
“Banzai resources are used by more than 80,000 teachers across the United States,” according to a Banzai press release. “These educational tools align with New Mexico State Curriculum requirements, making the program a fun way for students to learn vital skills and an ideal way for all members of the community. improve their financial knowledge. After completing Banzai courses, users will know how to know where their money is and what it is used for, recognize financial compromises, and plan for a financially healthy future.”