It is well known that young kids are not that interested in reading as it used to be and it is also not a secret that disadvantaged kids, brought up in poor income environments and in many cases without one or both of the parents at home, are considerably less prone to be encouraged to read.

It is not easy to change this but Alvin Irby, a young and passionate US educator who a few years ago was a teacher for young children in Harlem and the Bronx, believes it is possible.

Based on the fact that one of the few places where young boys tend to be calm is the local barbershop, Irby set up a nonprofit initiative, BarberShop Books (BB), which provides barbers in poor neighbourhoods with children books aimed specifically at young boys. Counting on donations and contributions to help pay for the costs of the initiative – namely buying the books and their cartonboard shelves – BB is already present in seven barbers in Brooklyn and Harlem and hopes to expand that number to 25 by the end of September, but its long term aim is to reach the whole of the US.

Source: Barbershop Books