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Washington Trust Offers Free Financial Literacy Program to Rhode Island Schools and Students

May 03, 2022

WESTERLY, RI -- Washington Trust is offering free online financial literacy resources and tools to schools and students throughout Rhode Island through Banzai, an award-winning program and content library. Banzai allows users to practice real-world finance from the safety of their home or classroom using any internet-enabled device. Washington Trust is the first financial institution in Rhode Island to partner with Banzai, Inc.

“Financial literacy plays an important part in ensuring students become economically empowered as adults,” says Edward O. “Ned” Handy III, Chairman and CEO at Washington Trust. “We’re excited to provide the teachers with relevant, accessible and interactive resources that help them build a solid foundation of practical financial knowledge with their students.”

Students will use the free software to learn how to manage a budget, save for a goal, understand credit, and deal with unexpected financial pitfalls. Teachers will be able to easily monitor and grade student progress remotely and can implement the curriculum using both digital and physical resources, provided free of charge, as a result of Washington Trust’s sponsorship.

“Through our business and financial literacy classes at Tolman, our goal is to provide the students with a well-rounded financial education that will enable them to make sound decisions as they chart their paths forward into the future,” says Robert D’Arezzo, Director of the Marketing and Management Academy program at William E. Tolman High School in Pawtucket. D’Arezzo, who was named “Rhode Island’s Financial Educator of the Year in 2021” and was a former “Pawtucket Teacher of the Year Award” winner, added “We’re excited to have access to these dynamic tools and resources thanks to Washington Trust’s sponsorship of our school and look forward to continuing to integrate them into our curriculum.”

Banzai’s educational tools align with Rhode Island’s state curriculum requirements, making the program a fun way for students to gain vital skills while also helping teachers and schools fulfill the newly mandated requirement to provide financial education in the classroom. To view the full list of sponsored schools, visit

Teachers interested in using Banzai can visit or call 888-8-BANZAI.


Founded in 1800, Washington Trust is the oldest community bank in the nation and one of the Northeast’s premier financial services companies. Washington Trust offers a full range of financial services, including commercial banking, mortgage banking, personal banking and wealth management and trust services through its offices located in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. The Washington Trust Company is a subsidiary of Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc., (NASDAQ: WASH).

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