Barber Cuts Kids’ Hair for Free as They Read to Him
If you can encourage kids to read, then you’re all right by us. And with children all over the world getting ready to go back to school, Courtney Holmes in Dubuque in Iowa has come up with an innovative and awesome plan for the kids in his area.
Last Saturday, Courtney was offering children free haircuts ready for the new school year. The only “catch”? The child has to read aloud during their appointment.
Courtney’s initiative was part of the second annual Back to School Bash. This event is a chance for residents to find out about free resources in the community to help students and their families get ready for the new school year.
Courtney explained that when the kids would come into the Spark Family Hair Salon, he’d tell them to go to the table and pick a book they might like. But he doesn’t just listen to them read as he cuts their hair; if the child struggles with the words, Courtney helps them understand, too.
At the end of the event, there were still 10 children waiting to have their haircut. Courtney gave them all a voucher for a free cut and told them to come back another day with a book to read to him. He’s not going to let anyone miss out!
“It’s great,” said Caitlin Daniels, a coordinator for grade-level reading in Dubuque. “All the kids, they want to have a good haircut to go back to school – they are paying through reading.”
Instead of this being just a once-a-year thing, Courtney is hoping that he can get children to come and read for a haircut as a monthly event. People have even been sending books to the salon in support of this reading initiative – so there really isn’t anything standing in the way.
And Courtney is happy to do the work and likes that he is getting through to the parents as well as the children.
“That is what we wanted to do,” he said, “to reach not only the kids, but the parents. To let them know that we are there for them and have support systems for their kids who may not have access to reading assistance or books.”