Brightstar Credit Union Launches Additional Financial Literacy Initiative w/Biz Kid$ Grant

BrightStar Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in South Florida, is providing financial literacy education to all Broward County middle schools through Biz Kid$, an Emmy Award winning show where kids teach kids about money and business.

All 43 middle schools in Broward County Public Schools, starting with Walter C. Young Middle School in Pembroke Pines as the pilot school, have received DVDs of the Biz Kid$ show and materials. This group includes Beachside Montessori Village and Broward Virtual. BrightStar has made this possible by receiving a $20,000 Biz Kid$ Financial Education Grant, one of only 16 grants awarded nationwide in 2013, from the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation). The grants are intended to engage credit unions using the Biz Kid$ program and its curriculum to build financial literacy.

“Educating Broward County School students, and our members, about financial literacy is the cornerstone of our community outreach and our people-helping-people philosophy,” said Sam Chesser, BrightStar Credit Union’s Vice President of Marketing. “We are honored to be the recipient of a Biz Kid$ grant and look forward to the positive educational impact it will have on middle schools students in Broward.”

“In the past, Biz Kid$ has been a great educational and entertaining addition to our Finance Club meetings and the students have been very engaged while learning about financial literacy and entrepreneurship,” said Arlene Colson, Mathematics Department Chair, Walter C. Young Middle School. “I am excited to continue to enhance the students learning by building projects based around these videos.”

Created in 2007 by the producers of Bill Nye, the Science Guy show on PBS, Biz Kid$ uses parodies and spoofs of popular movies and shows such as Avatar, The Matrix and Jersey Shore to teach students about money. Episodes cover topics such as cash and credit, budgeting, saving, entrepreneurship and how to be a smart consumer.

The shows are part of the Biz Kid$ curriculum, which BrightStar Credit Union will offer to teachers involved in their successful CU@School program, a student-run, on in school credit union staffed by students in its Academy of Finance program. BrightStar will also incorporate the content of Biz Kid$ into the credit union’s classroom presentations, and post content on BrightStar University, their free financial literacy portal for members, students and teachers.

“There is a need to improve the financial literacy skills of the youth in America and Biz Kid$ is the perfect vehicle to address that need,” said Danielle Brown, Biz Kid$ Program Coordinator for the Foundation. “We are excited to fund these innovative programs that will improve the financial education of youth through the use of the Biz Kid$ program.” 

A Foundation Grant at Work
This “Grant at Work” is part of a series that highlights Foundation grantees who made a positive impact in their community and empowered consumers to achieve financial freedom through credit unions. Grants are made possible by supporters of the Foundation.

Biz Kid$ - Teaching Kids about Money & Business
Biz Kid$ is a financial literacy initiative launched nationally in January 2008 that teaches kids about money and business. The initiative includes an award-winning TV series, free classroom curriculum, outreach activities, and a website targeting children 9 – 16 years old.  The Foundation is responsible for the fundraising and outreach of the program, and a coalition of over 300 credit unions and affiliates from across the country have helped exclusively fund Biz Kid$.

Many credit unions leverage Biz Kid$ to teach financial education in schools in their community. In addition to the Foundation’s box sets and starter kits, companion materials and other resources for teachers and parents are available at no cost on the Biz Kid$ website, bizkids.com. The site also features clips from the series and invites kids to appear on the show.

For more information about Biz Kid$, click here.

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