Biz Kid$Spring 2012 Television
Biz Kid$ offers a valuable and realistic education about the business world and becoming a mogul. Biz Kid$ is a half-hour TV magazine aimed at tweens and young teens, and in each episode, a likable young cast presents skits and field segments about smart money management and business strategies. The program premiered in 2007 and according to its website now airs on more than 350 PBS affiliate stations around the U.S.
Biz Kid$ is fast-faced and well-produced, with few editing or graphic gimmicks to distract viewers from its mission. Some of the financial concepts are a little dense, but the script does a respectable job at making them accessible to young teens. For instance, a skit about debt features a teen magician locked in chains. As he opens the padlocks binding him, he stresses the value of saving more than spending so that one doesn't end up "shackled" by debt. In a field segment, we meet a teen lifeguard at a community pool. After talking briefly about her job, the lifeguard explains that the pool is supported by taxes. Another lifeguard describes taxes as "a big piggy bank" to which everyone in the community contributes money "that goes to the greater good."
Will kids kick back during leisure-time viewing to learn about taxes, business concepts, and money matters? Aside from aspiring entrepreneurs, most won't, but the program still has tremendous value for all teens as they take on more responsibility for the money they earn from chores, jobs, or gifts. Biz Kid$ has a companion website featuring free, downloadable lesson plans appropriate for teachers or homeschoolers (five core lessons are also available in Spanish) and both teachers and parents will find them helpful in the effort to instill common-sense spending and saving habits as kids age.