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Student Reading 4.1: Earning what I Want

Malique is a third grader in Cincinnati Public Schools. He loves sports. He watches them all the time on the TV with his dad and older brother John. His dream is to play football for the Cincinnati Bengals when he grows up.

One day on the way home from school, Malique walked past the Cincinnati Recreational Center and saw signs advertising the upcoming try outs for the football team. He ran inside and asked what he needed to do to sign up. Mr. Hill said, “I will write your name here on this list. The try outs start next Monday, if you make the team, you will need to bring in $100 for equipment and uniforms.” “I will be there!!!” said Malique. He ran straight home with his good news.

Malique’s dad was very excited for him, but when Malique told him about the $100 fee, Mr. Johnson’s face changed. “Malique, you know we cannot afford that right now. Work is slow and we have to save every penny we can for bills. “Sorry bud!” Mr. Johnson explained. “But Dad, this is my dream!” Malique said with despair. Mr. Johnson explained, “Malique, if you can raise the money yourself, you can play.” At first Malique was confused and angry, but after he thought about it, he could do it, he knew he could. He needed to make a plan.

The next day, Malique sat down and started looking on his computer for ways that kids could make money. He saw many different entrepreneurial opportunities. He started to look into different goods and/or services that he could do or sell in his local neighborhood. He had to think first about whom the consumers were that he would be serving. He could not think of any goods that he would be able to produce. He came to the conclusion that he would have to provide services. What would people want or need done for them in his neighborhood? Then it hit him, cutting grass and yard work.

He knew his neighbor Mr. Sampson across the street was getting older and it was hard for him to take care of his yard. He ran across the street and knocked on his door. Mr. Sampson answered, “Hello young fellow, what can I do you for today?”

Malique explained his situation about the football team and needing to create an income to buy the equipment. Mr. Sampson was very excited to not only have his yard work done for him, but also support Malique with his football aspirations. Mr. Sampson showed Malique all of the jobs he would like to have done in his yard and said he would pay him $5 an hour if he did a good job.

Malique was so excited. He went straight to work. About three hours later, he was finished. Mr. Sampson came out and was very pleased with Malique’s work. He gave him the $15 he owed him and said, “If you create a poster or some sort of business card, I will share it with my friends. I will advertise for you letting them know how great of a job you did today.”

Malique was so excited, he ran straight home and started researching how to advertise. He found a site that showed what a business card looked like. He decided to call his business ‘Malique’s Yard Maintenance.’ He printed off ten cards and ran back across the street. Mr. Simpson promised to pass the cards out. If his friends needed help, they would be calling him soon.

The next day, Malique came home from school. Football try outs were in one week. He was ready to show his skills to the coach. When he walked in the door, his mom told him he had three phone calls. The messages were hanging on the refrigerator. The first was a message from his friend Troy. He wanted him to come over and practice football in his backyard. That would be fun! The other two messages were from friends of Mr. Sampson. They both wanted work done in their yards. Malique decided to call and set the jobs up with them and then go play football with Troy. The first neighbor he called was Mrs. Bates. She wanted her grass cut and a few trees trimmed back away from her house. She was hopping to have him do the work in the next couple of days because she was having a party and wanted the yard to look nice. Malique said he would be over after school tomorrow. He next called Mr. Frey. Mr. Frey also need a lot of work done in his yard and was willing to pay extra if Malique could have it finished in the next two days. Malique was torn. He really wanted to play football with Troy, but he did not want to disappoint Mr. Frey and he was willing to pay extra. Malique said, “I will be there in twenty minutes Mr. Frey.” He could practice football any time, but he would not be able to play on the team if he did not make the money needed to pay for the fees.

Malique worked hard the next week and raised enough money. He made the team and had never been happier. He decided to keep his ‘Malique’s Yard Maintenance’ business up and running. He could use the extra money and his neighbors had truly started to depend on him.

Aries is a sophomore at Walnut Hills High School. There is a big dance coming up at school. Last week Aries went to Kenwood Mall with her three best friends. She found the dress of her dreams. When she got home she told her mom all about the dress. Mom replied, “Aries, you have a perfectly good dress upstairs in your closet. I am not spending $125 when it is not something you do not need.” Aries was mad. She did need that new dress. Moms just do not understand! She decided to take a different approach. “Mom, if I earn the money myself, can I buy the dress?” asked Aries. Mom was hesitant but she reluctantly agreed. Mom wanted Aries to wear the dress she already had, she did not want her to become spoiled like a couple of her other friends.

Aries had to come up with a strategy to come up with some money. The dance was only three weeks away and she had to buy that new dress. Yeah, the one in her closet was okay, but the one she saw at the mall would make all of her friends jealous. Aries has been asked by her aunt many times if she would mind babysitting for her, but Aries always chose to go with her friends instead of babysitting in the past. She was hoping if she called her aunt, she would still be willing to let her babysit.

Her aunt agreed and told her she actually needed her a lot over the next couple of days. She had a big project to complete at the company Proctor and Gamble that she worked for and would have several late nights coming up. It worked out perfect for Aries and for her aunt. Aries made the money she needed for the dress and her cousins were taken good care of each night. She wished the mall was open right now, she go there right now.

The Kenwood Mall opened at 9:00 am. She asked her dad if he could drop her off on the way to his workout session and he agreed. Aries walked in the mall all excited. She was on her way to purchase the dress she wanted. On her way to the dress store, Aries passed the jewelry store that she always stopped at to say hello to Mrs. Bell. She worked in the jewelry store. Mrs. Bell and Aries grandmother had been best friends. Mrs. Bell saw Aries and called for her to come in. She was so excited to see her. There was a necklace that Aries had always wanted because it had reminded her of her grandma’s favorite necklace. When her grandma passed away, she wore the necklace to her grave. The store had a necklace just like it, but it was always way to expensive. Mrs. Bell exclaimed, “The necklace is on sale! It is marked down to $120. Isn’t that great?!” Aries was very excited, but confused at the same time. She asked Mrs. Bell why the necklace was marked down to that price. Mrs. Bell explained that a new jewelry store had opened in the mall and they were in heavy competition against each other to sell items. The store had also received a large shipment of the necklaces and not many people were buying them. So, since the supply was so high and the demand was low, the price was dropped to entice people to buy the necklace.

Aries had to think about this for a moment. She went out in the hallway. She really wanted the dress to impress her friends, but she also had always wanted the necklace to help her always remember her grandmother. She could only buy one of the items. The item she chose not to purchase would be her opportunity cost. She had a perfectly good dress at home; she knew her mom was right. She went back inside the jewelry store and bought the necklace.

Juliana wanted a King’s Island pass in the worst way! She knew her parents would never pay for it, so she was going to take it upon herself to make the $65 she needed. She looked around her room. She had so many old toys and clothes that she never played with or wore anymore. She was going to have a garage sale. She hung up posters and told of her friends.

On Saturday, David, her friend from school showed up right at 9:00am. He was looking for Spiderman Trading Cards to add to his collection. Juliana showed her what she had. He offered her $3.00. Juliana explained there was a scarcity of these Spiderman cards. There were not many more out there to find. She asked for $5.00. They compromised with $4.00. Next, Mrs. Allen, Juliana’s neighbor came over. She was looking for toys that her grandchildren could play with when they came over to visit. Juliana showed her what toys she was selling and Mrs. Allen bought $10.00 worth. Juliana knew that the toys actually had a higher value than $10, but Mrs. Allen was nice and she did not have a lot of extra money to spend. By the end of the day, Juliana had made her $65 plus some extra. The Kings Island pass was all hers. She was just about to clean up, when her friend Marsha’s brother Tommy showed up.

Juliana had noticed him walked past her garage sale several times that day. Tommy was only 6 years old, so he did not have any money. Juliana asked how she could help him. Tommy pointed to a dinosaur that was still left. Juliana asked, “So you like my old T-Rex do you? He is named Tony the T-Rex. How much money do you have?” Tommy looked up at her with his big puppy dog eyes and said, “I don’t have any money.” Juliana thought for a minute. “Maybe we can barter for Tony,” she suggested. “What does that mean?” Tommy asked. Juliana said, “It means to trade. What do you have that you could trade me for Tony?” Tony thought long and hard. Finally he looked up, “I have a piece of strawberry gum!” he said with excitement. “This is your lucky day, Tommy! Strawberry is my favorite flavor! You have a deal,” Juliana stated. She handed the dinosaur to Tommy and took the gum.

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