Credit Unions: Apply Now for New NCUF ‘BizKid$’ Financial Education Grants

Credit unions have until the end of the month to apply for new “Biz Kid$” Financial Education Grants from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF).

The grants can be applied to any youth financial education initiatives that make use of “Biz Kid$,” an award-winning children’s television show currently in its sixth season on PBS that teaches kids about money and business. The series originated through a partnership between the Washington Credit Union Foundation and the show’s producers in 2006 and is still filmed in Seattle.

“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 NCUF. “We are looking to fund innovative programs that improve the financial education of youth through the use of the ‘Biz Kid$’ program and encourage you to apply.”

“Biz Kid$” launched nationally in January 2008, and the full initiative now includes the award-winning TV series, free classroom curriculum, outreach activities, and a website (bizkids.com) targeting children between nine and 16 years old.

The WCUF transferred NCUF responsibility for fundraising and program outreach to the NCUF in 2008 as well, and a coalition of more than 290 credit unions and affiliates from across the country have helped exclusively fund “Biz Kid$” ever since.

The number one goal of the “Biz Kid$” financial literacy initiative is to teach kids from upper elementary through high school to understand and incorporate the skills they need to successfully manage their financial lives. The goal of NCUF’s “Biz Kid$” Financial Education Grants is to extend the reach of the series beyond broadcast into the community.

What the Grants Fund

“Biz Kid$” Financial Education Grants may be used to fund innovative programs that improve the financial education of youth through the use of the “Biz Kid$” program. Projects may engage teachers, students, education leaders, local PBS stations or community stakeholders through events, activities, and/or curriculum distribution. Each project should create innovative and engaging activities incorporating “Biz Kid$” materials.

The overall grant objective is to engage the credit union movement in using “Biz Kid$” and its curriculum to build students’ financial literacy and economic education skills while increasing awareness and usage of “Biz Kid$” in general. Funds may not be used as a cash donation to a third party.

“Northwest credit unions have been committed to Biz Kid$ from the start,” Brown said. “They are always at the forefront of creating innovative ways to incorporate the show and its curriculum into their educational outreach efforts. I encourage them to apply for funding to support their efforts to improve the financial education of youth through the use of the ‘Biz Kid$’ program.”

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants include credit unions, CUSOs, state credit union associations, state credit union foundations, and any other organizations owned or controlled by credit unions.

Questions about “Biz Kid$” or the grant process can be directed to Danielle Brown at (971) 295-6800 or via email at bizkids@ncuf.coop.

Teaching Kids about Money & Business

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

“Biz Kid$” has continually garnered attention in and outside of the credit union industry. In its five seasons, “Biz Kid$” has earned 10 Emmy nominations—winning once in 2009—and the cast rang the closing bell ceremonies at both the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ Exchange in each of the past three years in conjunction with National Financial Literacy Month.

“Biz Kid$” also recently earned the Parent’s Choice Silver Award. In 2010, it also won the credit union industry’s most prestigious honor, the Herb Wegner Award for Outstanding Program.

“Biz Kid$” Financial Education Grant applications can be found on the NCUF’s website. The application deadline is March 31, 2013.

 

Questions? Contact Director of Outreach Programs Kasey Rockwell: 503.350.2217, krockwell@nwcua.org.

Posted in Around the NW, Financial Education.