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Today I met the Storybook Barber

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By now you may have heard of the Storybook Barber, the barber at Spark Family Hair Salon who offered free cuts to kids back in August if they read him a book. Courtney Holmes’ story went viral fast and he has since appeared on national media including the Rachel Ray Show, NBC Nightly New and more. Courtney has used his newly found platform to spread the message of the importance of grade-level reading for all children.  It is amazing to see how dedicated he is to using this opportunity to make a positive impact in the Dubuque community and beyond.

20150930_101517 Today I got to meet Courtney at his salon where he was hosting Todd Bol, creator and executive director of Little Free Library. Todd had traveled to Dubuque to visit Courtney at Spark Family Hair Salon and to hold a Little Free Library building workshop while he visited with staff at the salon. Courtney invited me to join them in building five Little Free Libraries, which will be distributed throughout the community.

The example that Courtney sets is an important one to remember: no matter what you do or where you work, you can help our youth to read at grade level. Whether you volunteer your time at a youth organization, read to your own children, or keep books available for kids at your place of business, every little bit can help and we each have a part in ensuring that all kids succeed.

Now ask yourself, what are you doing to help kids in our community read at grade level? Click here to watch Courtney’s Barber Reading Challenge and then take the challenge yourself by telling us what you are doing.

Find out how you can support the Storybook Barber here in Dubuque and beyond.

By Eric Dregne, vice president of strategic initiatives for the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque

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