Sneakers for Grades | NECN
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Sneakers for Grades

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    Laced, a high-end sneaker store in Boston's South End, is rewarding kids by offering expensive athletic shoes for good grades. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016)

    A Boston business has come up with a new way to reward kids for good grades, offering expensive athletic shoes for academic excellence.

    Laced is a high-end sneaker store in Boston's South End. Owners Joamil Rodriguez and Sean Thimas sell rare and often pricey athletic shoes, including the Adidas Yeezy line.

    "We're the Louis Vuitton of the sneaker stores. You aren't going to see stores like this everywhere," Rodriguez said.

    But making money on Jordans, Yeezys and Reebok pumps isn't their sole focus.

    "We challenge students to come in and pledge that they are going to get good grades throughout the school year," said Rodriguez.

    At the end of the year, if the students make honor roll, they get the sneaker of their choice.

    Hartman Russell was the first student to enroll in Laced's academic incentive program.

    "It definitely motivated me a lot to have the incentive of sneakers for good grades," said Russell.

    Russell is now a freshman at an Ivy League university.

    "I don't know if my grades would have been as good if I hadn't been incentivized with sneakers," Russell said.

    Rodriguez and Thimas also use sneakers as a teaching tool, going into schools like McKinley Academy in the South End and using their business to teach math, economics and entrepreneurship.

    Those interested in participating in the incentive program Boston Public Schools fill out an application. Ten are accepted and must stay on the honor roll for the full school year to receive the sneakers of their choice.

    "We're giving them a motivational tool to say, you know what? I'm going to do good in school for myself but I'm also going to get something out of it," said Rodriguez.

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