You don't often hear the terms "reading" and "haircut" in the same breath, but one barbershop called The Fuller Cut is bringing the two activities together for local kids, giving them a little incentive to crack open a book.
The Ypsilanti, Michigan barbershop is giving a $2 discount to kids who read aloud during their appointment to encourage reading.
Ryan Griffin is the barber who came up with the program at The Fuller Cut. He told the Huffington Post he was inspired to try out the concept for his own store after hearing about other barbershops taking part in the program around the country. To get things going, Griffin started bringing in old books he had from his three children. Of the program, he said, "It wasn't anything grand. I just wanted to be responsible."
What makes The Fuller Cut's initiative even better is that the books are representative of the diverse population in Ypsilanti. Approximately 29 percent of the town's population is Black, so kids are reading books with positive Black role models. The barbershop has a selection of 75 to 100 titles that are on rotation including those about athletes, astronauts, and even President Obama. According to The Fuller Cut's Facebook page, they are also grateful for any donations of positive Black books of any kind.
The Fuller Cut's owner, Alex Fuller, told CBS News that customers love the idea, not just for the $2 discount but because it is helping kids improve their reading skills and gain confidence. Parents often give their kids a book when they help them in the salon chair, and the kids are game to read it. Furthermore, Griffin told The Huffington Post that The Fuller Cut has even gained new clients specifically because of the program.
The barbershop has received widespread praise from people on Facebook, especially teachers. One wrote, "I'm a kindergarten teacher [and] I LOVE this idea. When kids love to read, they get better at it, and then they will want to read more, which opens so many doors in life. Good for you guys!"
After seeing the way the program has helped his young clients, he hopes other salons will be inspired to implement their own programs,
"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 ability to read is one of the most important skills that a person can have. The Fuller Cut is helping kids boost their skills so when they leave the shop, they're walking away with improved skills in addition to a cool new haircut.