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US schools buck up grades with a lucrative reward

education Updated: Nov 05, 2008 12:33 IST

AFP
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At the time of global meltdown, a little more pocket money won’t do much harm, especially if it comes as a reward for good grades in school. It was a bit like pay day for children in 15 middle schools in Washington who recently received their first cheques for good grades, attendance and behaviour.

Every two weeks, children aged 12-14 stand to make up to $100, following a precise sliding scale in which math, science and history-geography grades are as important as attendance and good behaviour. “I am going to buy my little cousin something for her birthday because she is turning one,” said sixth grader Kenny Coffin, 11, clutching his cheque. “I will put a little in my bank account and spend the rest on clothes and shoes,” said seventh grader Jay Carson, 13.

Crammed into a gymnasium, teachers and students at Shaw Middle School, in a working class neighbourhood of the city, listened carefully to what Mayor Adrian Fenty had to say before the first cheques in the experimental program were passed out. “Does everybody like to make money?,” he asked rhetorically. “Yessssss,” shouted the schoolchildren in glee.

Rewards are always welcome in whatever form they come. And when it is given in the form of cash, definitely, everybody would love to have it more.