DALLAS – The "Biz Kid$" campaign to raise $2.6 million for a financial literacy show on public TV this fall has picked up some powerful new supporters: NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson and Vice Chairman Rodney Hood plus a contingent of Texas CEOs. In addition, project backers, including a contingent of top CEOs from across the country, were soliciting financial pledges from their peers during last week's National CEO Roundtable in Bonita Springs, Fla.

Unveiled March 30 in a Seattle suburb, Biz Kid$ is a financial education venture linked with Junior Achievement Worldwide and being pursued through a national consortium of CUs, state leagues, foundations and vendors. The goal is to give CUs a higher national profile in literacy and hopefully serve as a powerful marketing tool in building membership. So far Washington League officials say they have pledges of $2.2 million and expect to meet the $2.6 million goal by a May 13 deadline. Speaking at a NAFCU gathering for CEOs early last month, Johnson cited Biz Kid$ as a prime example of how CUs can contribute to literacy with Hood making similar public comments. Other CEOs spearheading the BizKid$ campaign include Gary Oakland, BECU, Seattle; Rudy Hanley, Orange County Teachers FCU, Santa Ana, Calif.; and David Addison, Texans CU of Richardson. Embarking on a national tour, the Washington State League organizers of Biz Kid$ made visits here April 29-30 in separate luncheon meetings, one hosted by Addison and the other by the State Credit Union Foundation Network. Addison had invited a group of 10 large Texas CUs to a BizKid$ lunch, getting agreement for $200,000 to help pay for two years of show expenses. A group of state league foundations led by Washington State and New York have also made sizeable pledges, said coalition spokeswoman Jamie Chase, director of communications for the Washington League. Also contributing $5,000 is the World Council of Credit Unions which is planning to have BizKid$ translated into foreign language broadcasts. In a follow-up to the Texas stop, the Biz Kid$ tour is slated to resume visits in other cities over the summer to arrange financing beyond 2006. Stops are planned in San Diego and in New York before a meeting of the National Youth Involvement Board in August. -

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