A cut and a shave is the usual combo you encounter in a barber shop, but a shop in Rockford is doing it a little bit differently. As kids get their hair trimmed, one can see them enjoying a good book.
“We provide a service to the community through grooming, but we also provide a service to the community with the extension of education,” said Classic Cuts barber Shawn Denton.
Classic Cuts on South Main St. has been collaborating with the United Way to offer books in the barbershop.
Children can get one for free every time they come in. Not only that, Owner Dawaun Neal says for children feeling a little nervous about getting their ears lowered, a book puts them at ease.
“They’ll pick up the book, read it, it will calm them down a little bit,” said Neal. “Then we also give them incentives. Like if you read the book , the whole book, you can take the book with you. Then we give them a sucker or something just to make them feel good on the way out, after a haircut of course,” he added.
Classic Cuts offers books on math, letter formation, and story comprehension. Customer Nick Tucker gets his haircuts on a regular basis at the barber shop and was seen reading ‘Froggy Loves T-Ball’ with his son Chance on Friday. Tucker says such opportunities get Chance more excited to continue reading.
“They tell him that every time him that all the time, ‘you can take that book home’,” Turner said. “Now he has a collection of it from all the times he’s been here, now he gets to expand his little library,” he added.
“A lot of things are going on in the world today, social media, television, and all of it is not pleasing and acceptable,” Denton said. “So versus seeing what’s out there and what’s not positive we made sure it came in here to the barbershop, and like I said it’s an extension of education,” Denton added.
Neal says he plans to continue working with the United Way to develop a program for older students. For those who come to the barber shop with a report card that gets them in the honor roll, he will give them a haircut on the house.