Five months after opening his barbershop, Chicago Cutz, Ron Bell has partnered with aldermen Cavalier Johnson and Ashanti Hamilton on an initiative called Books in the Barbershop. The program, a partnership with the Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee Public Schools, Sharp Literacy and Northcott Neighborhood House, is meant to bridge the achievement gap between white and minority students in Milwaukee by “putting books in the hands of young people where they are,” according to Johnson. Each month, the Milwaukee Public Library will provide sets of books to be available at Chicago Cutz, 6228 W. Capitol Drive.
At the launch event, Bell gave away school supplies and haircuts to any student who came into the barbershop.
Bell is hoping that the program will increase kids’ desire to pick up a book and get excited about education.
“In the end, it doesn’t matter what you read,” Johnson said. “It matters that you read.”