A barbershop in Michigan is inspiring kids to love reading, while also providing stylish hairdos.
The Fuller Cut barbershop gives kids a $2 discount on their haircuts on one condition...they read out loud to their barbers as they sit in the chair getting their hair done. And a lot of times, parents turn right around and give the $2 to the kids.
"Parents love it and the kids … well, they like getting the two dollars back," Ryan Griffin, the barber who brought the discount program to the shop laughed. "We get compliments from teachers all the time, too."
The books are catered to the demographic as well. Being an African-American barbershop, all the books have a common theme: empowering young African-American children to love themselves. There are currently between 75 to 100 books at the children's disposal.
"All our books have positive images of African-Americans — whether it's astronauts, athletes or writers," Griffin said.
Ryan Griffin says he can't take all the credit, however. He heard about the concept in places like Iowa, Texas, and Ohio and thought it was an amazing way to empower kids to love reading and love themselves. Being a father of three himself, Griffin began bringing in old books from around the house and encouraged other parents to do the same.
"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," said Griffin. "Because when a kid thinks it's cool to read, that's a gift."
Griffin says he tracks the progress of the kids who participate in the program. He'll keep tabs on where they left off last time they were in, and if they didn't finish that book then he'll encourage them to pick up where they left off.
"Some kids go to class and they're afraid to read out loud, but this really builds their confidence," he said.
This program is such a creative way to get kids to love reading. Adding an element of fun (and the potential for $2 in their pocket) gets them excited to pick up a book.