A small-town barber makes a big-time difference with books.
Image via Wikimedia
Getting kids to read isn’t easy. Getting kids to read—and then like reading—is a whole other crisis entirely. So Courtney Holmes, a barber in Dubuque, Illinois, decided to come up with a fair (and brilliant) trade: he’d offer a free haircut to any kid who came up, sat in a chair, and read to him.
According to USA Today, Holmes’ idea was initially part of a one-day event known as the “Back to School Bash.” Organized in partnership with My Brother's Keeper program and the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, the event’s goal was to promote early childhood literacy and a love of learning. Holmes received a number of free books from local community groups. The barber then encouraged his younger clients to pick up a book, and no matter what their confidence level, try and read it to him. “Go to the table and get a book you might like, “ Holmes told his clients, “and if you can't read it, I'll help you understand and we can read it together.”
It’s a smart exchange. As Caitlin Daniels, a grade-level reading coordinator, told The Associated Press, “It's great. All the kids, they want to have a good haircut to go back to school ...They're paying through reading." And while Holmes’ event was initially intended for just one day, he has big plans to make this a monthly occurrence. Who needs complimentary lollipops when you have awesome barbers like this?
(Via: USA Today)