In 2014, there was a study done by the U.N. Education Agency that discovered approximately 250 million of the world’s 650 million primary school aged children were unable to read, along with being unable to read or do basic math. Of those 250 million, they also found that 130 million of those children have not received the minimum benches for learning and almost 120 of them have spent little or no time in a classroom, which also included 57 million children who were not currently in school. Granted this was a worldwide study, but it also includes kids in the United States who aren’t getting the basic education that is needed in order to succeed in life. Luckily, there are people like barber Courtney Holmes out there! He lives in Dubuque, Iowa and has been helping families get ready for the upcoming school year. How is he doing that with just a basic haircut? Read the story below to find out!
Courtney Holmes has decided to trade a haircut in exchange for a child to read a book to him. That’s right. The child gets a free haircut as long as he reads to Holmes while getting his haircut. What an awesome way to give back to the community, but also get something in return.
Tayshawn Kirby who is 9 years old, read the book Fats, Oils, and Sweets by Carol Parenzan Smalley to Holmes while getting his hair cut. The book is about how the average person eats 150 pounds of sugar each year! Tayshawn’s older brother, Titan, also took a turn in the barber’s chair.
Homles said, “I just want to support kids reading.” During the event, St. Mark Youth Enrichment gave books away to some of the kids with the help of Outreach Coordinator, Beth McGorry. Caitlin Daniels, who is the grade-level reading coordinator with the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, said, “It’s great. All the kids, the want to have a good haircut to go back to school. They’re paying through reading.”
These kids are really taking advantage of an amazing deal. Not only do they get a great haircut for back to school, but they are getting it in exchange for reading to the barber! I hope more barbers and hair stylists across the nation see this story, and do the same thing. Reading is such a basic skill to have and for those of us who can read, we definitely take it for granted.