SEATTLE -- At last, "JA's BizKid$," the financial literacy show being financed by credit unions, is enjoying its national debut, at least in a pilot format.
Over last weekend the show's first 30-minute episode, put together by a Seattle production team from the Public Broadcasting System, was due for its first TV broadcast on a pubic radio station in Rochester, N.Y.
A select group of regional PBS stations across the U.S. were expected to pick up the show which in some cases was to have a tag-line and branding commercial pushing CU awareness to young people and their parents.
Broadcast of the show's first episode marks more than a year's worth of behind-the-scenes work by a CU coalition of trade groups, vendors and national and state league foundations plus CUNA to raise the $2.6 million to pay for one season of 13 shows.
The telecasts are slated to run in September or October on the entire network of the Public Broadcasting System.
The show, produced in Seattle under guidance of the Washington Credit Union League, aims to promote financial literacy by teaching kids how to earn money and manage expenses. "J.A's Biz Kid$" will offer seminars, online start-up kits, interactive DVDs and other tools to help close the financial knowledge gap when it airs in the fall during the back-to-school season.
Under the deal with PBS and Junior Achievement Worldwide, also a sponsor and developer of the show's curriculum, CUs in major PBS markets are expected to get limited branding on each of the shows as they are being aired.
Washington League officials said they were uncertain how many PBS stations would be linked up to the April 8 premiere show airing on Rochester's WXXI, Channel 21.
Officials said the Rochester station was selected because of its leading role in the PBS network while also giving an opportunity for the CU message to reach a large audience in an East Coast market.
Roxanne Kruger, senior vice president of the Washington League, forecast that once the show airs nationally the CU awareness message including the industry's role on financial literacy would find an audience in the top 25 TV markets.
As part of the April 8 debut, the CU coalition for "JA's BizKid$" also put up a new Web site, jabizkidspr.com, last month giving wider access to media outlets and community groups interested in literacy. In the past, the link was through the Washington League.
Separately, the league said it will be holding an anniversary celebration April 23 in nearby Auburn marking 18 months of work on JA's BizKid$ by CU and JA leaders. The Aug. 23 "black tie" dinner event is being timed to National Financial Literacy Month. It will be held in JA's "Enterprise Village" in which youngsters from the Seattle area display their entrepreneurial projects. --firstname.lastname@example.org