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 May 19, 2017 - ‘Books in Barbershops’ Program to Kick Off This Weekend in Dauphin County

Harrisburg, PA - This Saturday, May 20, the American Literacy Corporation (ALC) kicks off a new program to encourage children to read. The Books in Barbershops program, created in cooperation with 10 barbershops throughout Dauphin County, will supply a bookshelf and age-appropriate books for boys ages 2 to 12.  
“The idea is to create child-friendly reading spaces in places where kids are. It also leverages the cultural significance of barbershops in communities to help boys identify as readers and gives them an opportunity to view reading as a positive experience,” said Floyd Stokes, Executive Director of the American Literacy Corporation. “The main goal of the program is to create a community learning environment that works together to reduce illiteracy.”
According to the United States Department of Education, more than 85 percent of America’s black male K-12 students are not proficient in reading. In an increasingly global and knowledge-based economy, poor reading skills among young black boys today will produce millions of black male high school dropouts who are unprepared to compete in the workforce of tomorrow, creating a host of negative life outcomes.
The Books in Barbershops program aims to improve boys’ access to culturally relevant, age appropriate, and gender responsive children’s books, while increasing the amount of time boys read for fun. Boys will be able to read the books in the barbershops as they wait to get their haircut and then choose a book to take home to begin their own home library.
There is strong local support for the Books in Barbershops project which involves between nonprofits, elementary schools, Dauphin County and area barbershops. Committee members include: Brandon Flood, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus; George Hartwick, Dauphin County Commissioner; Andrea Fulton, Salon Owner; Rob Lesher, Director, Dauphin County Library System; and Floyd Stokes, Executive Director of the American Literacy Corporation.
A $35,000 local share gaming grant, awarded by the Dauphin County Commissioners, provided the seed money to start the program and to purchase the books.
A representative from the committee will visit barbershops starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, including:
Gifted Hands
1008 N 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
2801 Penbrook Ave.
Harrisburg, PA 17103
Super Star Status
1925 Derry Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104
The Greatest Barber Shop in the World
145 North Front Street
Steelton, PA 17113
I Am That I Am
1312 Derry Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
Hair Design Plus Inc
3031 Walnut Street
Harrisburg, PA 17103
Heads Up
2286 N. 6th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110
6110 Derry Street
Harrisburg, PA 17111
Ebony 1
29 N Front Street
Steelton, PA 17113
Steelton Hair
227 S 6th Street
Steelton, PA 17113

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