Fuller Cut, a barbershop from Michigan, launched a literacy program that will not only help improve children’s reading comprehension skills but also help families financially.
While Josef Jason, a 7-year-old regular client, sits excited on top of an antique chair in order to get a new haircut, Keith Jason, the father of Josef, waits happily for other reasons. At Fuller Cut, a barbershop which is located in Ypsilanti, children get a $2 discount if they read to their barbers out loud. On this occasion, the 7-year-old was reading “We’re Going on a Lion Hunt”.
For more than a year, hundreds of kids have read to their barbers at this location in order to get their discount. Josef’s father is personally very pleased with the program. He thinks that it will greatly benefit the youth of his community because it will encourage children to like reading. The teachers from this community are also very pleased with the barbershop’s mission since it does a lot for kids academically speaking.
The literacy program exists thanks to the efforts of Ryan Griffin, Josef’s barber. Griffin has been a barber for decades, and he got inspired to initiate such program when he heard of a similar one that was taking place in New York. Other barbershops across the United States have also embargoed on this noble idea as well. As soon as Griffin heard about the program, he asked his boss for permission, which was rapidly granted. Within less than two weeks, many residents from Ypsilanti had donated dozens of books.
But Griffin has taken his idea very seriously and has high expectations. At Fuller Cut, kids have to do more than simply read to their barbers out lout. The costumers are also tested. Kids must prove that they understand what they read; therefore, they have to do a quiz after they are done reading. Griffin expects that his program will help children personally and professionally. As a matter of fact, he hopes that some of his costumers become writers.
Keith also has a younger son, Joziah, whom he also takes to the barbershop consistently. He encourages him to read “challenging” books. A lot of black kids come to this barber shop, and most books here revolve around African American culture. For example, a lot of the books available here are about black baseball players or detectives. Some kids may not be too enthusiastic about reading. But in the end, they will save money, which is something.