A Barber Who Pays Kids To Read Out Loud
This man and his community deserves all the credit people can give him and them. From his own experience growing up, he saw a problem he had as a child and instead of ignoring it or just talking about it he decided to do something about it.
Jon Escueta, immigrated from the Philippines at the age of 8 and is the founder and owner of a barbershop in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
What was the problem he experienced as a child, that would be reading. To help the children in his community who lack confidence in reading he started a program called "Books by Kids”.
CNN reported that Jon pays kids $3 to read a book of their choice during their haircut. He originally started the program with his own money but now his other customers and community members donate the books and funds to expand the program.
Our goal is for the kids to boost their confidence in front of others without fear of being judged
Coming from a different country he struggled to learn the language and have a desire to read. He told CNN that he credits an aunt and uncle for guiding him as a teenager. He said:
I didn't know English and that was a lot...I felt like I was being judged...The ones who are timid -- I gravitate toward those kids...I know what it feels like and try to make them feel good about themselves.
This is also a story about a great teacher who changed his life. A 7th-grade teacher helped him when he said:
I told my reading teacher I didn't like it [reading]. I liked basketball.
So what did that very smart and caring teacher do, she gave him a book about basketball to get him to start reading and it worked.
His barbershop and barbers have made a difference in many children’s lives to date according to many of their parents.
Congrats Jon and all of the people in the community which saw a problem and is doing something about it.