Harlem: A Barbershop Connects Boys With Books

A former first grade teacher is using barbershops to close the achievement gap affecting young black boys.

At Denny Moe’s Barbershop on Frederick Douglass Boulevard, owner Denny Mitchell has removed all video games from his shop and replaced them with a bookshelf of children’s books.

It’s one of dozens of Black-owned barbershops participating in Barbershop Books, a nationwide program that first launched in Central Harlem to close a staggering achievement gap: More than 80 percent of Black fourth-grade boys are not proficient at reading, according to a National Assessment for Educational Progress report.


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