CPAs teach ABCs of financial literacy to Philly elementary students

Students at Prince Hall Elementary School learned about money during a visit by some CPAs.

Steve Tawa
May 13, 2018 - 3:15 am
Prince Hall Elementary School Students

Steve Tawa-KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- At Prince Hall Elementary School in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia, third through fifth graders are not yet prepared to do your taxes next year, but they did learn about money, during a visit by some CPAs. 

The Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs and the Southeasten Pennsylvania chapter of Junior Achievement went into classrooms to teach students basic financial lessons.

"What they love is we do math, and we get paid for math," said one of the volunteers, CPA Tom Alvare, who manages the Doylestown office of JFS Wealth Advisers. "So we're teaching them that math is fun, and it can be productive."

In this classroom, Junior Achievement Development Director Robin Olson says they asked 9 and 10-year-old students, "where does money come from?" 

"And they'll say a bank," Olson said. "Well, how do you get it? Well, you go in and ask. And that's, of course, not how it works."

She says they have age appropriate financial programs.

"We talk to them about concepts like taxes," Olson explained, "how when you go to work every day, you get paid for hour time, and how finances are limited, so you have to make decisions about how to spend your money."

Organizers say these outreach programs lessen the risk that children will carry bad debt, and make poor financial decisions when they become adults.