Barbers, mentors to teach kids to read with new initiative

There's a new effort underway to try and combat a recent spike in violence, and it starts with reaching out to young kids at the barber shop.

The North Carolina Local Barber Association is starting a new initiative called "Literacy with a Purpose" in Charlotte.

The idea is to reach younger kids, ages four to ten. When the children come in for a haircut, they'll also get to read a book with a trained mentor from the community. That adult can not only help them with their reading skills, but also talk to them about what's going on in their lives and follow them, as they grow up.

Tom “Jake” Jacobs, owner of LaPorsha’s Barbershop on East W.T. Harris Boulevard, said, “We want to make sure that person that's teaching has an objective to get some results. We're going to have mentors like professional athletes, retired athletes with the NFL, and we're going to move to the Charlotte Hornets to make sure that they're involved, so we do have a lot of people that want to be on board with this.”

The "Literacy with a Purpose" initiative officially kicks off next month. The event will be held at the Fourth Ward Barber and Hairstyle on North Graham Street on April 16 starting at 10 a.m.



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