Fort Worth’s Reading with Barbers Creates a Space for Learning in Ordinary Places

Nine barbershops in areas with underperforming schools will provide patrons with a bookshelf of choices.

reading

Fort Worth ISD has teamed up with a handful of barbershops around east and southeast Fort Worth to encourage children ages 4 to 14 to read comfortably in public spaces. 

The pilot program, Reading with Barbers, operates on a relationship between students, barbers, and parents as they visit the shops, according to the district. About nine barbershops in areas with underperforming schools will provide patrons with a bookshelf of choices.

Chief of the district’s Department of Equity and Excellence, Sherry Breed, and school board trustee, Christene Moss, were inspired to test the community reading program after hearing about the idea during an education conference, according to Fort Worth Literacy Partnership’s blog.

They believe it’s the nation’s first barbershop reading program to be focused on a school district.

They believe it’s the nation’s first barbershop reading program to be focused on a school district.

As part of the district’s 100×25 FWTX literacy initiative to ensure grade-level reading or above in 100 percent of third-graders by 2025, the barbershop reading program promotes normalized education in and outside of school.

Volunteers from the community, including some from the Trinity Habitat for Humanity service, helped deliver the bookshelves in late July. Program leaders plan to communicate with participating barbers in a decision on whether or not to enlarge the program and include more shops, according to the blog.

“With the barber school I have young men 20 to 25 and they can’t read,” barber Filtone Love told Fox 4 News. “Just imagine younger men and women who can’t read.” 

“I’m here to help. If we can form an organization to get it going let’s do it.”


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