WASHINGTON -- With its formal TV debut set for broadcast in October, the BizKid$ were "ready to romp" at this week's GAC conference.
The BizKid$, of course, is the credit union-funded financial literacy show to air on the Public Broadcasting Service across the U.S. complete with CU branding and taglines.
For a year now, BizKid$' prime backer has been the Washington Credit Union League, but since its funding launch last March, it has attracted scores of CUs, state leagues, their foundations, vendors and last summer CUNA's National Credit Union Foundation, which helped coordinate a special segment on BizKid$ at the Herb Wegner dinner held this Monday.
Attendees at the dinner were to be treated to video clips and a progress update on the half-hour public TV show due first for a pre-season special broadcast on PBS stations in mid-April.
"Let the Show Begin," trumpeted the Washington Credit Union League in announcing that its $2.6 million fundraising effort is now complete and will defray expenses for the show's first year of 13 episodes.
Outside of CUs, a key backer of BizKid$ is Junior Achievement Worldwide.
Hence, the show has since been renamed "JA's BizKid$," with the April special to air on selected PBS stations during Financial Literacy Month. It will be anchored out of a Rochester, N.Y. station under PBS protocol.
League officials said some CUs across the U.S. have already made contact with their local PBS stations about getting CU branding and ads when the April special airs as well as in October. At the Wegner dinner, officials from the Washington League were expected to show the three-minute clip with the four Seattle PBS producers of the show answering questions. All during 2006, league officials toured the country soliciting donations from willing donors to fund expenses for 2007 and for future seasons. Two weeks ago in Seattle, more than 60 CU executives and other officials associated with the show turned out for an episode screening and production studio tour. The producers as well as Junior Achievement representatives welcomed "project partners and colleagues" to discuss the elements of the show, its launch, and the development of a tool kit curriculum that will correspond to specific Biz Kid$ episodes.
"The credit union community is very excited about Biz Kid$ and the opportunities it will provide to teach children and young adolescents about financial literacy and American families about the credit union difference," said John Annaloro, president/CEO of the Washington League.
"This meeting allowed everyone involved to see the results of months of hard work," he concluded. "We're all very proud."
Jim McKenna, one of the Seattle producers, called BizKid$ "an edgy program with an attitude. We all feel that it is possible to teach kids in an amusing an entertaining fashion. That is what this program will do."
Also on hand for the Feb. 8 briefing were several of the young BizKid$ performers who appeared in episodes titled The Adventures of Mucho Dinero, Fast Buck and The King of Ka-Ching.
Michael Gross, Biz Kid$ lead writer, declared that a goal is to show students that "wow, they can do this, they can be a Biz Kid."
The national Biz Kid$ special presentation in April will air during Financial Literacy Month, noted league officials. --firstname.lastname@example.org