A barber shop in Ypsilanti, Michigan, isn’t just giving the latest haircuts, it is offering a unique chance to help children learn valuable virtues. The Fuller Cut Barber Shop gives children who read a book aloud to their barber during a haircut a $2 discount.
Ryan Griffin, the barber responsible for the unique program, chooses all of the titles himself, rotating 75 to 100 different titles. The shop serves a diverse community and he focuses on selections with positive themes, saying: “All our books have positive images of African-Americans, whether it’s astronauts, athletes or writers.”
The positive impact has made an impression on the children and parents as well, says Griffin. “Parents love it and the kids, well, they like getting the two dollars back. We get compliments from teachers all the time, too.”
He keeps track of the children’s progress by having them continue where they left off if they hadn’t finished their selection. It helps him track of whether they are improving their reading comprehension.
Griffin says he heard that the program has been successful in other cities and began bringing in his children’s books that were lying around the house.
“And that’s just how it started,” he said. “It wasn’t anything grand. I just wanted to be responsible. I hope people reading this and feel the same way go to their barbershop or beauty salons and tell them about this program as well.”
The idea has been a success within the community and the barbershop has gained new clients. “When little kids that don’t really know how to read or what’s going on see an older kid in the chair with a book and then grab a book too, that’s what’s important,” Griffin explained. “Because when a kid thinks it’s cool to read, that’s a gift.”
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