First, laundromats became a space for children to practice their reading skills. And now, barber shops are joining the club.

At City Cuts in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, kids can earn $3 for reading a book out loud during their haircut. Owner Jon Escueta raises the money from customers and community members, along with a GoFundMe account.

Jose hopes that the program helps young people feel more comfortable reading and speaking in public.


“Our goal is for the kids to boost their confidence in front of others without fear of being judged,” Jon explained to CNN.

Jon hopes they’ll carry that self-esteem with them for the rest of their lives. At 32 years old, he can definitely relate to being a young, insecure kid. He immigrated at 8 years old from the Philippines.

“I didn’t know English and that was a lot. I felt like I was being judged,” Jon said.


“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.”

His efforts are making an impact. One mom travels extra distance to the shop because her son, Connor, loves the extra warmth that he experiences with the barbers there. And it’s boosted his confidence in reading, too.


After practicing at the shop, “I am always raising my hand to get picked [in class],” Connor said.

Jon says at least 10 other barber shops and hair salons across the country have similar programs.