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By Vanessa Russell

 

The red, white & blue cylinder spinning outside your local barbershop is something you expect to see when taking your son for a haircut. Now add a 'book nook' of children's literature to the picture.book_nook

 

Boys waiting for haircuts at Headliners Barbershop in Fredericksburg are reading some of their favorite books, thanks a 'reading nook' that's just for kids. Filled with children's books, the nook is part of a national initiative called 'Boys Booked on Barbershop' whose goal is to promote literacy among young boys. The Boys Booked on Barbershop (B-BOB) program is sponsored by the Fredericksburg Chapter of Mocha Moms, Inc. Chapter Co-President Raquel Pouncy said the books encourage children to dream big. "Being able to read children books about President Obama, Hank Aaron, and civil rights movers is great because they'll be able to see that there are different things they too can do."

 

Pouncy said, the owner of Headliners Barbershop at 241 Charles Street; Harry Schein, was excited to be the first shop in Fredericksburg to host the B-BOB program. This nook "gives kids who may not usually be exposed to literacy a chance to be exposed to it,' said Schein. "Most of the men who come in here are fathers, and I'm a father too. Literacy is important to us."

 

Last month's launch of B-BOB kicked off with haircuts, story time, arts & crafts, cake and remarks by Fredericksburg City Councilman Hashmel Turner. Turner recalled childhood memories of his favorite books, and told boys to always 'take time out to read.'

 

B-BOB was started back in 2004 by Sabrina A. Brinson, an associate professor of childhood education & family studies at Missouri State University. Since then, over 100 shops nationwide have participated in the program; and Mocha Moms, a national support group for stay at home moms of color, is one of its main partners.

 

The National Institute for Literacy, Scholastic books and Mocha Moms all donated books to the program; many of which are by and about African Americans. Local author of 'Fredericksburg A-Z', Jill Walsh, also donated books to B-BOB at Headliners barbershop.

 

For more information about Boys Booked on Barbershop, log onto www.MOCHAMOMS.org .

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