After a five-year hiatus, the award-winning financial education program Biz Kid$ has launched a new season featuring six episodes that focus on teaching young adults personal finance and entrepreneurship in the same “edu-tainment” format.
More than 300 credit unions and affiliates nationwide have donated over $15 million to fund Biz Kid$, championed by the National Credit Union Foundation, which performs outreach, administration, and fundraising for the show.
Each Biz Kid$ episode begins and ends with a narrator reminding viewers that “Production funding for Biz Kid$ is provided by America’s Credit Unions, where people are worth more than money.”
“That ‘funder’ credit provides tremendous exposure for credit unions when you consider the show has had more than 80 million viewers over the years,” says Danielle Brown, the Foundation’s National Biz Kid$ coordinator. “Studies show that organizations that bring educational resources to the public are elevated in the minds of viewers. I don’t think we can emphasize the importance of that exposure enough.”
Produced by the creative team behind “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” Biz Kid$ takes a fun approach to financial literacy with comic sketches and antics that appeal to kids from late elementary through high school. Hosted by young people, the series teaches the importance of giving back to the community and the basics of smart money management.
The new season’s episodes tap into timely topics such as weighing the costs of a college education, turning $100 into $1 million, and attempting to answer the timeless question, “Can money buy happiness?”
Celebrity guests include Monique Coleman from “High School Musical.” The sixth season is the first filmed in front of a live audience.
Brown says profile segments provide an “I-can-do-that” factor that empowers young viewers. “There’s an inspirational quality from an entrepreneurial standpoint,” Brown says. “Viewers are seeing other kids start their own businesses and charities, and it speaks to them as peers. That’s very powerful.”
Credit union organizations have integrated Biz Kid$ into their financial education outreach, including financial fitness camps, youth club partnerships, teacher workshops, and more. The Foundation has distributed Biz Kid$ Financial Education Grants to fund such projects since 2013, and through these outreach projects Biz Kid$ has reached more than 11 million parents, students, and educators.
Biz Kid$ is the only financial literacy project with a television component, greatly magnifying its reach and impact. The show airs on most public television stations, 212 commercial stations, and the Armed Forces Network.
Additionally, on BizKids.com, teachers and teens can access free content such as business plan templates for kids, lesson plans mapped to state and national standards, community activity sheets, content in Spanish, and educational games.
Biz Kid$ has received wide critical acclaim, including two National Emmy Awards and a Parent’s Choice Gold Award.