Barber: Free Haircut to Readers

Iowa barber gives haircuts to children in exchange for them reading stories to him

Thanks to social media, I read this story in the which made my day. I love it.

Courtney Holmes, right, listens to Jeremiah Reddick, 9, of Dubuque, as he reads while receiving a free haircut Saturday during the Back to School Bash in Comiskey Park, in Dubuque. Holmes offered his services to children who read while getting their hair cut.

The story was written up by the Associated Press (AP) about Dubuque Iowa.  The basic idea is that: Children who read books to a local barber have received a free haircut as part of a community event in Dubuque to help families prepare for the upcoming school year.

“It’s great. All the kids, they want to have a good haircut to go back to school. They’re paying through reading.”

Barber Courtney Holmes traded the tales for trims on Saturday during the second annual Back to School Bash in Comiskey Park.

Apparently, several local groups got into the action. St. Mark Youth Enrichment gave away books. Outreach coordinator Beth McGorry with St. Mark said she enjoyed watching Holmes help young children sound out the words they didn’t know yet. Caitlin Daniels, grade-level reading coordinator with the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, also helped. The city’s acting resource manager, Anderson Sainci, coordinated the event, which involved nonprofits and other community partners.

I’d like to see this sort of program made into a national effort.  Is there a national barber’s trade group or association that might be able to champion it?  I’d like to see it coordinated with groups like ILA and NCTE.

What initiatives have you seen, or dreamed about doing, that would help students engage more in literacy activities? I’d appreciate your input.

And if you are a Twitter user, please follow me (and comment or RT too): @VSpellCityMayor



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3 thoughts on “Be Creative: Make a Difference

  • August 30, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    These stories are also so heart-warming and can make a huge difference to some kids. For many kids, having one person take an interest in hearing them read, telling them that they have a great reading voice, talking to them about the story….can make an indelible mark to their self image and the possibilities.

    I’d love to see a national effort focused on having 1st -3rd graders succeed as readers. Those are the grades where so much is determined in terms of foundational reading skills. Isn’t there a way to have the nation make a huge campaign where each and every kid is those grades gets pushed from every direction to read?


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