“Unfortunately, financial literacy isn’t taught in schools” – Hill Harper

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It was a big day for the Sixers on Tuesday, Winning their first game of the season. But the biggest win may have been hours "Before" the game. Our Jason Lee tells us about a program the Sixers put on to educate kids.

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Center court at the Wells Fargo Center. Normally this is patrolled by the likes of Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel but on Tuesday, The Sixers home court was taken over but actor and best selling author Hill Harper. It's all part of the Future Smart Challenge, teaching kids about money.

Hill Harper: "Unfortunately, financial literacy isn't taught in schools, but yet it's one of the most important factors that influences the direction of one's life.  And it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, if you have good financial skills, and can use money as a tool, you can improve the quality of your family's life, your community and your city."

Nick Fyntrilakis:"This is an opportunity to get kids excited about a topic that middle schoolers might not be so excited about.  So talking about financial education, savings and planning for college, and some of these things that middle schoolers might be thinking more about the next video game or the next pair of basketball shoes."

Hill Harper's positive energy and personality had these kids engaged and involved.

Harper: "What about your education?"
Kids: "Yeah!"
Harper: "What about helping others?"
Kids: "Yeah!"
Harper: "What about just being happy?"
Kids: "Yeah!"
Harper: "What about your future?"
Kids: "Yeah!"

Harper covered topics such as using cash versus using credit. And he broke down a typical household's expenses in terms that kids could understand. And it seems like these middle schoolers got the message loud and clear.

Bianca: "I think it's really amazing the information they're giving us.  It's so helpful.  It will give us a really nice future.  I like this a lot".

Naasim: "Spend my money on stuff that I need, not stuff that I want."

Harper says money is like a tool. If it's used properly it can improve our lies, but if it's used wrong it can cause damage.
Hill Harper:"I like the analogy of a hammer, which is what I told these kids today.  A hammer is a tool.  If you use it to pound nails, it does it really well.  If we used a hammer to clean this beautiful hardwood floor, it would do more damage than good.  Money is the exact same way."

And after all the money talk was done, there was time for a quick selfie. It was a day these middle schoolers won't soon forget.

Jason Lee: "So the kids here today learned about dollars, and the hope is, that to them it made "cents".  At The Wells Fargo Center, I'm Jason Lee, PHL 17 News."