Literacy and Barbershops
My grandfather and father were barbers, from a long line of barbers that goes back many generations in Sicily. So you can understand why a recent article in The Washington Post about the Obama administration partnering with barbers to provide books to children caught my eye.
We’re all used to seeing children’s book in waiting rooms at doctors’ offices, but the barbershop? It turns out that barbershops and hair salons, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are very involved in their communities, and kids often spend hours there with their parents. Gene Pinkard, a supervisor of principals in Washington, D.C., explains in the article “It’s a nexus of community life.”
In an effort to mobilize communities to help boost the reading skills of children, more than 20 barbers nationwide have been working with administration officials to provide age-appropriate, engaging reading material in the waiting areas of the barber shops. The books are donated by the literacy nonprofits Reading Partners and First Book.
What a great idea!