Gearing Up for “Reading with Barbers” Pilot Program
We are so grateful for the group of volunteers that responded to Fort Worth ISD’s call for help assembling bookcases for the “Reading with Barbers” program.
Two of the volunteers that participated in this event were from the Trinity Habitat for Humanity fulfilling their service requirements, Maricruz Ramirez and Caleb Cole.
In addition, two other community volunteers, Dr. Alan Abeson and Robert Franklin stepped up to support this worthy endeavor.
“That was fun. Thank you for helping me participate. How can I find out about other FWISD volunteer opportunities?”
For questions or more information contact your school volunteer coordinator or Alma Pohler, FWISD Volunteer Specialist, at 817-814-2973 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit this link.
In order for FWISD to attain our goal of 100×25, it is going to require support from community members as well as a focus within the District.
Parents, students and all of the community at-large will be aware that the community members have a role in ensuring students are reading on grade level.
The Fort Worth ISD Department of Equity and Excellence is kicking off a pilot program this fall called “Reading with Barbers” designed to help students ages 4-14 identify as readers in safe, out-of-school community spaces.
On Monday morning, July 31, in the Eastern Hills High School library, nine barbers from east and southeast Fort Worth are receiving bookshelves and reading materials from the Fort Worth ISD to establish reading centers in their shops.
In addition to the shelves and books, each barber will receive colorful charts and stickers so the children can keep track of their reading progress and earn rewards, prizes and praise.
Equity and Excellence Chief Sherry Breed and School Board Trustee Christene Moss learned about the idea of community-based barbershop reading programs at a recent education conference.
Intrigued by the concept, they decided to test the nation’s first ISD-focused pilot barbershop program with an emphasis on helping children in communities with traditionally underperforming schools.
Barbershops can be a part of the solution because they are typically recognized as centers of the neighborhoods they serve.
When a child comes into the shop and sees another student reading, or has an adult encourage them to pick out a book and then take the time to discuss it with them, it’s modeling positive behavior.
Barbers and barbershops participating in the pilot program include:
- Above the Average Barber, Andy Barnes
- Beauty on the Boulevard, Cleveland Harris
- Chop Shop Barber Shop, Donna Moss
- Exquisite Stylz Barber Shop, Marcus Brisby
- Jazzy Cuts Barber Shop, Tracy Turner
- Kay’s Barber Shop, Jajuan Johnson
- Millennium Cuts Barber Studio, Roger C. Foggle
- Williams Barber College, James and Shirley Thomas
- HD2 Barbershop, Beauty Salon and
- Barber School, Felton Love.
The Reading with Barbers pilot will collect data from the participating barbers over the next few weeks and determine when and if a broader rollout will occur. Anyone interested in participating in the program either as a host destination or as a financial supporter should contact Sherry Breed, Chief of Equity and Excellence, at email@example.com.