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Local barber gives free haircuts for reading, gets national attention

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Barber gives free haircuts if kids read to him Barber gives free haircuts if kids read to him
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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Barber Courtney Holmes is modest about the national attention he's getting.

"It's a great thing, but it's really not about me, it's about what we're doing here for the kids," he said.

As part of a recent back to school event -- Holmes gave kids free haircuts if they read books to him. "So I was on board to that because it was all about the kids and making sure the kids are reading at grade level," said Holmes.

Since then, the story has been shared all over social media -- bringing positive attention to Dubuque and the Spark Family Hair Salon.

Well now starting every first Tuesday of the month, boys and girls aged kindergarten to fifth grade can get free hair cuts as long as they read to the stylist.

The man behind the school event was Anderson Sainci, a member of the Dubuque Black Men Coalition. He says it was about bringing the community together and increasing literacy.  "When we look at the data across the country the kids that are impacted by grade-level reading are kids in lower income and kids of color," said Sainci.

As for Holmes -- when the work day is over, he goes home and spends time with his two boys Jackson and Josiah. "Every night I read two or three books to them...they look forward to it," he said.

The salon owner Amanda Trotman, says they will be getting a micro-library Wednesday where kids will be able to borrow books. 

As for the free haircuts -- those will be on the first Tuesday of each month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for kids in kindergarten to fifth grade.

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