Category Archives: B.R.I.D.G.E. Barber

The More You Read , The More You Grow by Kenny Duncan

 If two children were given the same education, support and resources over a 13 year period, it would be fair to say that both should be able to preform at the same level. The key phrase in that last sentence is “should be”. Both children should be able to comprehend the same topics, obtain the same support, and access the same resources. An acceptable thought for them not performing on the same level would be some obscure reason outside of their education, support, and resources. Now imagine someone expecting the same performance from both children, without having equal quality education, support nor resources. Would that be fair? Better yet, what if the difference in their quality of education was so drastic that it could be equivalent to comparing grad school vs grade school. Would an expectation for these two children to perform on the same level be far fetched? Sadly I would agree that it is far fetched and I would share that this is the reality for a large number of African American males in America. Studies show that one in six children not reading proficiently fail to graduate high school and most of these children are African American. How can we compete fairly if we aren’t properly prepared is my question and now burden. There are other factors that contribute to these issues, and knowing all the issues that contribute is our first step to helping solve this burdening problem. The Annie E. Casey Foundation has conducted a study that makes it clear how reading proficiency as early as third grade and poverty influence high school graduation. In this study it revealed that our academic achievements are dramatically impacted by our reading levels at the end of third grade, high poverty neighborhoods,& family poverty. This proves to me that African American Males who grow up in poverty could achieve much more if only their neighborhood wasn’t impoverished.  

  I believe with today being called the information age, not knowing is becoming more and more unacceptable. if any wants to know something, the internet brings it right to your finger tips. In fact, virtual learning is becoming the culturally relevant way to learn. Ive learned that if I want to help solve this problem i have to attack it at its core. Therefore if third grade reading test scores are down and contribute to high school drop outs rates, more people in our village need to help educate our kids in reference to literacy and maybe then we will see change. 

 READ.READ.READ….. Read where you are!! , and in a way that fits. Our solution is to provide additional resources to those that are behind early to help them perform better. When resources are provided in culturally relevant ways, it helps children remember more.

I don’t think I can stress this enough, we MUST read to lead. Think about this, troubled teens could be triumphant teens if they are given the right tools! Our problem starts with low literacy levels, but it doesn’t have to end there. Help spread the word that the issues most African American males face could be solved by encouraging a healthy reading diet. the more you know the more you can grow. The best part is technology allows reading to be done virtually anywhere #ReadWhereYouAre 

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The influence the barber has in shaping a young man’s life is grossly underestimated! By Dexter Fields 

The influence the barber has in shaping a young man’s life is grossly underestimated! I begin cutting young Will when he was around 9 years old…..the visits to my barberchair included conversations of doing well in school, serving in the community, golden nuggets on how to navigate effectively into manhood, as well as tips on daily grooming and hygiene. ….young William is now called Will, he is Attorney practicing in the Washington DC area, with his current efforts, he has entered the race to be a democrat for Congress….Will is also married and the father of 3 beautiful little girls… Will is still one of my current clients…..Will has expressed to me that he remembers the times spent in my chair when he was a young boy, the conversations that he never forgot, the fact that I took the time and answered all his many questions , gave advice and helped him to learn and develop. ….. I’m grateful to be a barber because the opportunities to ignite “CHANGE” for the betterment of our community is given to me daily. ……. a duty I do not take lightly.   

Owner of the Millennium Salon in Silver Springs Maryland

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