NBC News

Barber gives free haircuts to children in exchange for reading

By Megan Marsden Christensen | Posted - Sep. 7, 2015 at 6:15 p.m.


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DUBUQUE, Iowa — A barber is charging a unique price for the haircuts he gives children, but it sounds like a win-win situation.

Courtney Holmes doesn't ask for money from the kids. Instead, he asks them to read to him, according to NBC News.

Holmes started the program, Tales 4 Trims, hoping to improve the neighborhood kids' reading skills, NBC News reported.

Holmes told NBC News he helps the kids pronounce the words they don't know. The children's faces are payoff enough for Holmes.

"I have read a whole book, I remember what it was about, I got a nice haircut, I feel like a million bucks," Holmes told NBC News. "You know, and it makes me feel like a million bucks just to see that."

The program sends a bag of books home with each child, so they can keep up with their reading until their next haircut.

According to the Telegraph Herald, the barber provided the service at the second annual Back to School Bash service in the area.

Anderson Sainci, the acting resource manager for the City of Dubuque, coordinated the service to help connect people to other people and to area resources.

"It helps all of us to reach our full potential," Sainci told the Telegraph Herald.

During the event, St. Mark Youth Enrichment donated books, some of which children read to Holmes.

"We don't have books at the salon, so I'm bringing books from my house, and people have started sending me free books," Holmes told USA Today.

Holmes said the owner of the shop he works at, Spark Salon, may make the reading for haircuts deal a monthly event.

"I'm looking forward to keeping this going," he said.

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Megan Marsden Christensen

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