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A television series aimed at children and sponsored by credit unions has won next year’s Herb Wegner Award.“Biz Kid$” introduces business, finance and entrepreneurial skills to young people. The show has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and is one of the highest rated public television programs for children. The Herb Wegner Awards honor credit unions, credit union industry leaders and organizations each year and are given out by the National Credit Union Foundation.“First Biz Kid$ was nominated for the highest national honors in the television industry. Now it will win the highest national honors in credit union movement,” said Missouri Corporate Credit Union President/CEO Dennis DeGroodt, who chaired NCUF’s awards and recognition committee during the deliberations on outstanding program nominations.Every “Biz Kid$” episode begins and ends with a student pulling down a projection screen over a classroom blackboard to reveal the America’s Credit Unions logo, the NCUF noted when announcing the award. With a class full of students watching, a narrator reminds viewers that “production funding for Biz Kid$ is provided by America’s Credit Unions, where people are worth more than money.”The foundation reported that 334 PBS stations serving 50 states and Washington broadcast Biz Kid$ to more than 112 million households-including more than 230 million people over age two. This represents 97% of the public television market and exceeds all American Public Television children’s programs in carriage by 30%. Most PBS stations are airing Biz Kid$ in prime time slots for children’s viewing: on weekdays after school and on weekend mornings, NCUF said.“As CEO of an educational credit union, I saw the value and potential of this innovative program from early on,” reflected Rudy Hanley, president/CEO of SchoolsFirst Credit Union in Santa Ana, Calif., one of the program’s many financial supporters since its inception. “Through the ‘Biz Kid$’ program, credit unions are at the forefront of teaching youth about financial independence and social entrepreneurship. The return for our investment has been the promotion of credit unions’ core values of self-help, economic empowerment and volunteerism.”Every “Biz Kid$” episode includes four stories from successful young entrepreneurs reinforcing the importance of budgeting, saving and giving back to their community. Several of the featured youth have joined credit unions to achieve their dreams.“Our vision is for Biz Kid$ to do for financial education what Bill Nye did for science,” explained Executive Producer Jamie Hammond, an Emmy Award-winning creator of “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” “‘Biz Kid$’ is designed to engage young people with fun, fast-paced programming that will help them develop life skills in financial literacy and entrepreneurship.”–dmorrison@cutimes.com

Peter Westerman

Credit Union Times

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