MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Boys at Matilda Hartley Elementary got a visit from local barbers. The barbers’ mission—to make the students feel and look good while learning.
In the words of Bibb County Schools superintendent, if you look good, you feel good. As they get their hair cuts, they’re reading to barbers.
Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones says,”Students are able to pick books that they like and the barbers are engaging with them saying I’m your friend, let me help you feel better about who you are and how you look. Once we feel better about how we look, maybe the better we’ll learn as well.”
Louis, Jeffery, and Derrick are barbers at Razorline Barbershop in Macon. The men say the ‘Books and Barbers’ initiative gives them a chance to help young boys understand the importance of reading.
Jeffery White says, “Reading is a fundamental to learning. So, if they grasp that at an early age sky is the limit. I just try to show them that it’s cool to read books.
Derrick Brown offers a listening ear, and soft corrections as they come across a difficult word.
Derrick Brown explains, “They don’t know us. We don’t know them but we are sitting here and we are spending time with them. They are going to remember that. As they grow older, they may come to my shop and say hey I remember him from my school so if they want to sit in my chair, they can read in my chair also because they’re comfortable with me.”
The barbers work to show the boys that the confidence gained through a hair cut, reading is only part of an overall image. That’s why they also visit them in school, dressed for success.
Louis Foster adds, “Most of these guys, they get real enthused by seeing men dressing in professional attire. It shows us that there’s a spark in them that requires leadership to bring out of them so that they can walk into success.”
So what starts as a haircut, becomes much more for the barbers– they are mentors and role models who are connecting life lessons to the classrooms at Hartley.
Barbers at Razorline Barbershop allow boys to read to them as they cut their hair on a daily basis in their shop.