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With school swiftly approaching, an Iowa barber and a community group are taking a new approach towards encouraging children to read.
Barber Courtney Holmes, partnered with St. Mark Youth Enrichment, took part in Dubuque’s Back to School Bash in Comiskey Park on Saturday to give free haircuts to children who read books to him. More than 100 came out to the event, The Des Moines Register reports.
Outreach coordinator of the program, Beth McGorry, says they gave out books and school essentials, and was surprised to hear children sound out words they hadn’t yet learned to Holmes.
Grade level reading coordinator Caitlin Daniels also helped the children read at the makeshift barbershop.
“It’s great. All the kids, they want to have a good haircut to go back to school,” she said. “They’re paying through reading.”
For Holmes, the most important thing was helping the kids learn.
“I just want to support kids reading,” he said.
St. Mark Youth Enrichment plans to coordinate more events throughout the school year.