Cell phones replace gold stars for good grades

THE BRONX - A new initiative will reward students who get good grades with a cell phone.

The program will provide free Samsung phones, complete with free call minutes and text messaging, to students who meet certain requirements. The program, which is part of the city's million motivation campaign, aims to get students focused on achievement by rewarding them with something they love to use outside the classroom.

To get a cell phone, students must gain points awarded for attendance, behavior and academic performance. In addition, the phones won't just be used for communicating with friends. The school will use them to deliver announcements, homework assignments and motivational messages.

The KIPP Academy Charter School in the Bronx is one of just a handful of city schools trying the program out.

Despite the new program, the citywide ban on cell phones in schools will remain.

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