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For many young students now a few weeks into school, especially those who find reading difficult, it can be a very stressful time. That’s why, as part of the Back to School Bash in Comiskey Park in Dubuque, Iowa, local barber Courtney Holmes decided to do something special.

Holmes, a father of two, said he took the day off from his job at Spark Family Hair Salon to set up a booth in a crowded room filled with nonprofits and community organizers, part of an annual community event that helps children and parents prepare for the school year. Holmes decided to give free haircuts to kids who would read to him.

He said a youth organization was giving away books at the event, so he walked over and grabbed a few.

“The kids would come in, and I would say, “Go to the table and get a book you might like, and if you can’t read it, I’ll help you understand and we can read it together,” Holmes told USA Today.

“To be honest, I was amazed. The line started with four kids, and next thing I knew it was like 20 kids, all waiting for a haircut and eager to read.”

“We don’t have books at the salon, so I’m bring books from my house, and people have started sending me free books,” Holmes said.

Holmes’ effort has attracted national news attention, and he said the owner of Spark salon is considering starting a monthly event in which kids can receive free haircuts if they read.

“I’m looking forward to keeping this going,” he said.


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