Free Haircuts…For Reading A Book

Free Haircuts…For Reading A Book


The first Tuesday of the month at the Spark Salon in Dubuque, Iowa is set aside for free hair cuts. The only catch is that the customer must read a book to the barber, which in most cases is Courtney Holmes. Holmes said, “This is one small way that we can start something – to reach out to parents and let them know the importance of reading and making sure kids get the knowledge they need so that they don’t have to struggle through school.”

Holmes understands the importance of reading. He has two children, Josiah and Jackson. Each night, either he or his wife read to the boys. Unfortunately, as he knows, many underprivileged kids don’t have this experience at home. As a whole, this has many regrettable consequences, including higher high school dropout rates.

Holmes says, “Kids are our future. But I’m worried about kids today. Many are not involved in something positive. If there is anything I can do to reach out them, to get them away from the negative – the bullying, the trying to be cool, the rap thing, trying to imitate that – I’ll do it.”


Dr. Hoedel’s Perspective: To be honest, I wouldn’t know the first thing about Dubuque, Iowa. I’ve been to a lot of small towns in Iowa, but never Dubuque. I can tell you that all small towns can benefit from small gestures like this to help the kids… to help disadvantaged families… to lead and inspire by their own example. It only takes a few inspirational leaders to change a small town. In the words of Mr. Holmes himself, “There’s a lot going on in the world, but it only takes one person to change something. I am just trying to make a difference.” Maybe we too can be inspired by Mr. Holmes to do something positive in our own communities.

Your turn (provide your responses below):

1) Do you believe that one person, such as Mr. Holmes, can make a difference in a community?

2) If so, what is it that you can do to help your community? Those less fortunate than you?

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