Barbershop gives children discount if they read aloud while getting their haircut

Ryan Griffin charges $10 for a cut, but hands back two dollars each time a child reads to him

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The Independent US

A barbershop is giving discounts to children who read books to their barber while getting their hair cut.

The Fuller Cut in Michigan started the project a year ago and has handed hundreds of kids two dollars for their reading skills.

Ryan Griffin, the barber who brought the programme to Fuller Cut, told The Independent how it all started last August.

“It wasn’t actually my idea, I was reading and I came across an article,” he said. “When I read about it the first thing that came into my mind was ‘that’s responsible. I have to do that’. It was some barbers in Florida, New York and Ohio who first started it.”

The father of three began bringing in his old books and word quickly spread. Mr Griffin has 100 to 150 available, and being in a predominantly black neighbourhood, “all are positive African American books”.

A child at Fuller Cut reading a book about Barack Obama. (Facebook/The Fuller Cut)

“We get a lot of kids coming through. I couldn’t say exactly how many of them we’ve given money to since it started,” he said.

When asked how his customers have taken to it, Mr Griffin says the parents “love it” and the kids “like getting their two dollars back”.

“It’s different for different kids. We have a couple of regulars that are just readers anyway,” he said. “Then you have kids that are more hesitant. You get some that have trouble reading out loud and get embarrassed.

“I typically hand the money to the children, it’s all part of the reinforcement. But it’s not just about reading; they have to tell us or their parents what happened. It’s all about the comprehension.”