Barbers with Books


Barbers partner with WBRP to encourage young readers.

The West Bloomington Revitalization Project (WBRP) has teamed up with local
barbershops to offer young readers the chance to read a book to a
barber – and get a discount on their haircuts. Barbers with Books is a
new initiative for WBRP, which sponsors the popular Book Bike that
visits the Downtown Farmers’ Market and several west Bloomington

The concept is growing in other communities around the country.
District 87 School Board member Mary Yount and Karen Schmidt, the
coordinator and cyclist-in-chief for the Book Bike, are
enthusiastically bringing this idea to Bloomington. Two local
barbershops will be the first to help youngsters who come to their
shops improve their reading skills and maybe make the haircut
experience a little more fun, too.

Children can always use an extra opportunity to practice reading.
Barbers with Books will encourage youngsters to read to the barber as
their hair is being cut. Rod Joyner at A Kut Above at 919 W. Market
St., and owner Denise Boyd and manager/barber Erick Howard of One of a
Kind Barbershop at 104 E. Monroe St. in Downtown Bloomington will host
the first two sites for the reading program.

A collection of books for a variety of ages has been provided to the
barbershops, and young readers will receive a $2 discount on their
haircuts, courtesy of this new WBRP program. The Book Bike will also
offer free books for children to take home.

The program will be promoted at various community sites, agencies and
neighborhood events. Yount and Schmidt anticipate the future expansion
of the program to include additional barbershops, as well as beauty
salons. WBRP will accept donated books and financial contributions to
help cover expenses. Community partnerships will also be encouraged.

For more information about Barbers with Books, call:  309-824-2257


Jeremiah Hall reads to barber Erick Howard at One of a Kind
Barbershop. (Photo by Doug DeLong)