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Getting Boys Excited About Reading At Miami Gardens Barbershops

To encourage more boys to read, the city of Miami Gardens is teaming up with local barber shops.

Six-year-old Mikkael Stevens recently visited Top Cuttaz, his dad’s barber shop.

Around him, men were getting their hair cut, but he was more interested in a stack of books near the reception area and hanging out with Darrell House, a children's author based in Fort Lauderdale. 

House and Mikkael practiced their ABC's together. 

This is part of a summer program by Miami Gardens called "Reading With Style,"  which is part of larger  year-round reading initiative.

Neighborhood barber shops, already community hubs, are also being turned into learning hubs.

Mikkael Stevens Sr. said lots of school-aged kids and their parents come  to his barber shop and it made sense to promote reading in this space.

"Without a firm grip on reading and comprehension, it’s almost impossible to pursue any other form of education," said Stevens. 

His son, Mikkael was really interested in "The King Fish," a book by House.
"The boy hooks the fish in the mouth," Mikkael says, describing the illustrated book by looking at the pictures. He's in kindergarten, so he isn't a fluent reader yet.

"Reading is fun," the 6-year old exclaimed. 
House said he looks forward to local events that promote thinking and  literacy for young people.
"I'm very disappointed in the education system," said House. "I think we’re teaching kids to past tests and not how to think and reason, so teaching them how to read and reason is good stuff."