Students in New York City are not allowed to take cellphones to school, but students in one neighbourhood have come up with a solution that keeps their phones nearby and also benefits local businesses.
Students attending several high schools in the Briarwood area of Queens now leave their phones at shops near their schools for the day.
For a small fee — usually 50 cents to a dollar — they can drop their phones off in the morning and pick them up after school.
The stores include candy shops, small grocery stores, and even a flower shop. The shop owner makes a small profit from the storage fees, and also benefits from increased sales of food and drinks when the students pick up their phones at the end of the day.
When a student leaves a phone, the shopkeeper generally gives them a numbered claim ticket and stores the phone in a plastic bag with a matching ticket. Some also take the student’s name and ask for identification before giving the phone back.
In spite of these precautions, there have been cases where students have lost their tickets and phones have been given to the wrong people. At one store, a large number of phones were stolen during an armed robbery.
Many storekeepers say they would rather not have the hassle of storing phones, but they can’t afford to lose the extra business the phones bring in.
The students know they are taking a chance when they leave their phones, but many of them have no choice. They have jobs or other activities after school and they need their phones to be able to reach their parents, arrange transportation, and chat with friends.
Math prompt: You own a small corner store and five students a week pay you to guard their cell phone. After school they buy a pack of gum each, and an orange juice. Try to estimate how much money the shop owner makes in a week from those five students. (Remember, there are only five days in a “school week.”). Compare your estimates. Which is closer? Why do you think so?
*Bonus question: What is the name of the shop owner?
(See below for answer.)
Reading Prompt: Making inferences
Do you think that this type of arrangement between schools and local corner stores will continue to develop or is this merely a temporary solution? What ideas in the text support your prediction?
Primary, Intermediate, Junior
Make inferences about texts using stated or implied ideas from the texts as evidence (Reading, OME, 1.5)
Language Feature: Synonyms
Think of 10 synonyms for “hassle.” (Don’t forget, it can be a noun and a verb.)
Answer to bonus question:
The shop owner’s name is… your name! Remember in the question we said, “You own a small corner store…”