League Leverages Young CU Professionals to Bring Fin Ed to Local Communities Through Biz Kid$ Grant

A Foundation Grant at Work

Juli Lewis from Suncoast Credit Union presents on how her credit union utilizes Biz Kid$ at a workshop at this year’s Southeast Credit Union Conference and Exposition made possible by a Foundation grant.
Juli Lewis from Suncoast Credit Union presents on how her credit union utilizes Biz Kid$ at a workshop at this year’s Southeast Credit Union Conference and Exposition made possible by a Foundation grant.

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) held a one-day workshop this summer to familiarize young professionals attending this year’s Southeast Credit Union Conference and Exposition (SCUCE) with financial education outreach tactics through Biz Kid$, an Emmy Award-winning financial education program for kids. This event built upon LSCU’s separate Biz Kid$ two-day Young Professionals Workshop held late last year. As a result of these workshops, multiple attendees have since taken up the cause to bring financial education to 6th-8th graders throughout Florida and Alabama school districts.

“We are very pleased with the enthusiasm for delivering financial education programs exhibited by our LSCU Young Professionals,” said Laura Vann, Vice President of Cooperative Initiatives for LSCU. “They have embraced the Biz Kid$ program and have demonstrated creative ways for implementing Biz Kid$ in their local communities. LSCU appreciates the grant funding from the National Credit Union Foundation that enabled us to get this financial education program under way in Alabama and Florida.”

Juli Lewis from Suncoast Credit Union & the Foundation’s Lois Kitsch facilitate a Biz Kid$-related session at a workshop at this year’s Southeast Credit Union Conference and Exposition made possible by a Foundation grant.
Juli Lewis from Suncoast Credit Union & the Foundation’s Lois Kitsch facilitate a Biz Kid$-related session at a workshop at this year’s Southeast Credit Union Conference and Exposition made possible by a Foundation grant.

“It's clear from LSCU's results that many of the young professionals in Florida and Alabama wanted to make a change in their communities' approach to financial education, but many of them didn't know where to start,” said Danielle Brown, Director of Development & Donor Relations for the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation). “LSCU has given them that starting point, as well as the tools and strategies to create programs centered around the Biz Kid$ curriculum.”

Early ideas for this workshop came about from a concern with the lack of organized financial education outreach in Alabama and Florida as well as the fact that neither state currently requires financial education in its schools' curriculums. LSCU received a Biz Kid$ Financial Education Grant from the Foundation to make this initiative a reality.

Ultimately, the project's participants aim to create money-savvy students through in-school, hands-on workshops, who will then grow into money-savvy adults.

LSCU's efforts have already affected numerous counties, school districts and credit unions, including:

  • Pen Air FCU As a result of the initial workshop offered in the Fall, Melissa Dandridge at Pen Air FCU has coordinated to make Biz Kid$ a part of the core curriculum in nine middle schools in Escambia County and is in discussions for its inclusion in seven high school pace guides.
  • Tallahassee-Leon FCUTallahassee-Leon FCU ran a “Mini Billionaires Academy” Summer Camp in Tallahassee, the educational portions of which included showing Biz Kid$ videos and using Biz Kid$ activities to explain product production and budgeting to the camp's 49 attendees.
  • Jax Metro Credit UnionTwo young professionals at Jax Metro Credit Union are working with local schools and Boy Scouts troops to create summer and winter break programs which will incorporate Biz Kid$ content.

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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