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Barber trades free haircuts in exchange of stories

As part of a free event earlier this month, Courtney Holmes, 45, traded “trims for tales” in Dubuque, Iowa.

Holmes told local journal: “I just want to support kids reading.”

Free books were also given on the day by a charity some of which were read to Holmes.

Caitlin Daniels, grade-level reading coordinator at a community foundation said she enjoyed watching Holmes help children read.

“All the kids, they want to have a good haircut to go back to school,” she said. “They’re paying through reading.”

Holmes spent four hours cutting hair and handed out his business cards to those he didn’t get to cut, inviting them to his salon.

“Come to the salon and read to me,” Holmes said according to People. “And the cut is free.”

Holmes says he doesn’t doubt that parents realise the importance of literacy, but for whatever reason, he doesn’t think they are spending enough time reading at home.

“With me giving out free haircuts, it gives me a chance to say, ‘Hey, you need to pick up a book and read it and we can help you if you need it.’ ”

“This is one small way that we can start something – to reach out to parents and let them know the importance of reading and making sure kids get the knowledge they need so that they don’t have to struggle through school.”

Following the success of the campaign, Holmes said his salon owner plans to offer the service once a month for kids who read to them.

“The community is really feeling it. Everybody is excited about it. We want to make sure we keep doing this,” said Holmes.

“Kids are our future. But I’m worried about kids today. Many are not involved in something positive.

“If there is anything I can do to reach out them, to get them away from the negative…I’ll do it.”



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