Credit union launches kids’ show on financial literacy

From left, Michael Hyacinthe, Kevin Kammeraad and Stephanie Kammeraad. Courtesy Consumers Credit Union

Consumers Credit Union is partnering with three local creatives to launch a video puppet show for kids to help them learn financial concepts.

The Kalamazoo-based credit union, which has offices in greater Grand Rapids, recently said it is partnering with military veteran and Consumers CU member Michael Hyacinthe and a pair of his collaborators to launch “Money Minutes with Wimee and Friends,” a video segment for preschoolers and families with young children.

The show, available here, will include 12 episodes featuring local celebrity Wimee, a robot puppet featured on WGVU/WGVK PBS, a character brought to life by local puppeteer, musician and children’s book author Kevin Kammeraad and his business partner and creative collaborator wife, Stephanie Kammeraad.

The project also will include content for kids across Consumers CU’s social media channels throughout the year.

Hyacinthe, CEO and founder of Wimage, has been a member of Consumers CU for five years. Upon leaving the U.S. Navy, he devoted himself to finding his life’s next great purpose. That’s when he created Has Heart, a Michigan-based nonprofit that brings military veterans and artistic communities together to foster healing through creativity. From that endeavor, and with a few twists and turns in the middle, Wimage was born as an app that turns words into images.

“I grew up in New York City, where creativity is included in every aspect of our life,” Hyacinthe said. “So, as a current resident of Michigan, I’m hoping to bring that same creative energy to the work I do to impact people all around the country. I’m constantly trying to discover new ways to use that creativity to support wounded veterans or help children learn.”

Lynne Jarman-Johnson, chief marketing officer for Consumers CU, said the new show is a “fun, creative way to begin building the foundation of financial knowledge for kids.”

“This partnership is just the start of many exciting financial education opportunities that we are readying for our membership,” she said.

The first episode of “Money Minutes with Wimee and Friends!” teaches kids about coins.

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