Barbershops All A Buzz with Books
Columbus City Schools and Columbus City Council partner with national Barbershop Books initiative to place books in the hands of children while visiting barbershops.
A buzz cut, clean shave, and in-depth discussions about how dinosaurs go to school are now a-day-in-the-life for barbers participating in the Barbershop Books program, a partnership between Columbus City Schools and Columbus City Council.
Barbershop Books is a community-based literacy program founded in New York City that creates child-friendly reading spaces in neighborhood barbershops, primarily in African American communities. The goal is to encourage all young people, particularly four to eight-year-olds, to read. This age range (Pre-K through third-grade) is a critical period for growing the skills of reading and comprehension.
Among the curated books at each site might be The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The book’s main character is a young male of color experiencing the joys of a first snowfall. The Snowy Day is considered one of the first picture books aimed at young children to portray a realistic, multi-cultural urban setting.
Research shows easy access to reading materials - regardless of children’s reading abilities - increases the amount of time they read for fun. It also creates a unique opportunity for youngsters to be surrounded by positive role models who are also encouraging them to read.