Commitment to Action

Barbershop Books: Inspiring Black Boys to Read for Fun

Commitment by

Reading Holiday Project, Inc.

In 2016, Barbershop Books committed to create child-friendly reading spaces for over 4,000 black boys ages four to eight annually in 110 barbershops across 11 cities. Each Barbershop Books reading space includes culturally relevant, age appropriate, and gender responsive children’s books on a colorful bookshelf. Foundations, school districts, institutions such as churches, and other community partners will fund local program implementation and recruit participants. Barbershop Books will provide early literacy training to more than 110 local volunteers including at least 55 barbers. These workshops detail the reading challenges Black boys face and outline practical reading and engagement strategies barbers can use to support early literacy in their barbershops. While Barbershop Books’ target audience is young black boys, the program enables community organizations to sponsor individual reading spaces for any barbershop in the U.S. regardless of the racial or ethnic makeup of that barbershop’s clientele.





Barbershop Books: Inspiring Black Boys to Read for Fun



Est. Duration

1 year

Estimated Total Value



Northern America


United States

Commitment by

Reading Holiday Project, Inc.

Partner(s) of the Commitment Maker(s)

The Skillman Foundation, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Columbus Public Schools, Office of Mayor, City of Columbia, SC