Warren Buffet's 'Millionaire's Club' Kicks Off 'Learn and Earn' Initiative (Exclusive)
UPDATED: Jay-Z will be featured on the Internet series' cable TV debut this Sunday.
When Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaire's Club kicks off its run on cable TV's The Hub on Sunday, the animated show will launch a nationwide "Learn and Earn" financial education outreach effort aimed at children from third to sixth grade, with over 100,000 education kits being sent to U.S. schools and youth organizations including Junior Achievement, 4H and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
There is also a new "Grow Your Own Business" challenge, based on Buffett's financial lessons, which invites kids from ages 7 to 16 -- individually or in teams -- to send in idea for their own entrepreneurial endeavors by Jan. 20, 2012, for the chance to win $5,000. Finalists will present their ideas to Buffett in person and then join him for lunch.
The series, with Buffett voicing himself, has been on the Internet since early 2010. The first of four specials which airs on Sunday also features entertainer and entrepreneur Jay-Z. Other celebrities doing voices on upcoming specials include Shaquille O'Neal, Serena Williams and others.
"It's never too early to teach kids about properly managing their money," said Ken Chaplin, senior vp of Experian Consumer Direct, whose division CreditReport.com is sponsoring the "Learn and Earn" promotion. The series is produced by A Squared Entertainment, with the contest managed by kids marketing agency By Kids, For Kids.
"We teach our kids to know the anatomy of a frog," added Chaplin, "however, we don't necessarily educate them on the ways to manage a checkbook."
"The intention was never to teach kids how to read a balance sheet," said Andy Heyward, CEO of A Squared Entertainment, "we simply wanted to help them understand the world they live in."
The launch on The Hub, which is a joint venture network of Discovery Channel and Hasbro, is the first time the series will be seen on cable TV. The online series is available at www.smckids.com.
Each episode is designed to offer kids practical lessons on things like borrowing money and the value of working together wrapped in simple, fun stories.
"If we can get through to some young people," Buffett said about Secret Millionaire's Club recently on CNBC, "(and) say its better to be ahead of the game than behind, watch out for credit cards, (then we can teach them the) most important message is the best investment you can make is in yourself."
The animated series is being sold in international markets by Your Family Entertainment (YFE).