Local non-profit partners with barbershop to remove “book deserts”


R.E.A.D partners with local barbershop to promote early learning

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — In low-income neighborhoods, like Columbia Forest in Arlington County, books are hard to come by and even sometimes non-existent inside the home.

Which is why Jennifer Sauter-Price created Read Early and Daily in 2017. R.E.A.D’s mission is to give books to children ages 0 to 5 who do not have books in the home.

“We make sure the books the children are receiving mirror their lives and their narrative. We really search high and low for rich inclusive narratives to make sure they see themselves in the books they read,” Sauter-Price said.

Recently, Sauter-Price teamed up with James Moore, the owner of Moore’s Barbershop to encourage early reading.

“A lot of kids now have phones and i-pads and they don’t talk to each other. Sometimes they even text each other from across the shop, which is a very small place,” Moore said. “Reading actually encourages them to put down their phones for a second and do something that engages their mind,” he added.

There are about 170 children currently enrolled in read’s monthly book program. Last week, the non-profit was also awarded a $50,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation for a book bus.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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