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Barbers partner with west Bloomington group to encourage young readers

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Jeremiah Hall shares a story with barber Erick Howard at One of a Kind Barbershop in downtown Bloomington. 


BLOOMINGTON — The West Bloomington Revitalization Project has teamed with local barbershops to offer young readers the chance to read a book to a barber — and get a discount on their haircuts.

Barbers with Books is a new initiative for WBRP, which sponsors the popular Book Bike that visits the Downtown Farmers’ Market and several west Bloomington locations.

The concept is growing in other communities around the country. When District 87 school board member Mary Yount shared her “crazy dream” to start a program in Bloomington with Karen Schmidt, the coordinator and cyclist-in-chief for the Book Bike, she found an enthusiastic convert.

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So far, two local barbershops have signed on: Rod Joyner at A Kut Above, 919 W. Market St., and owner Denise Boyd and manager/barber Erick Howard of One of a Kind Barbershop, 104 E. Monroe St., Bloomington.

A collection of books for a variety of ages has been provided to the barbershops, and young readers will receive a $2 discount on their haircuts, courtesy of the WBRP program. The Book Bike will offer free books for children to take home.

Yount and Schmidt anticipate the program to expand. WBRP will accept donated books and financial contributions to help cover expenses. 

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For more information, visit or call 309-824-2257.


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