St. Petersburg barber cutting away at youth literacy problem

Kevon Reedy is reading at a very unusual place, Central Station Barbershop & Grooming in St. Petersburg.

"When we come here we can read anytime we want even if we don't have a book at home," Reedy shared.

His brother Kesean enjoys it too. "It was about two boys playing horse in basketball," Kesean said. "It’s cool." 

They are taking part in a reading program at the barbershop, which is owned by Antonio Brown. 

"When you open up a book you never know what you might find," Brown explained.  

He heard about the literacy problem in his community and decided to do something about it. 

"My vision was to have more children to be able to read ...on their grading level if not above." 

Every Wednesday, children from ages 4 to 12 come into the barbershop and pick out a book and read it to Mr. Brown.  Once they are done, the book and the haircut is free. 

"Basically, I'm hoping the kids will get a love for reading again. They think that reading is boring there's no fun in it." 

Mr. Brown started the effort a few years ago and has given away hundreds of books. 

"They may get multiple books at one time. I have a number of books and people donating so many books to me right now that I might give a child three to four books to take with them." 

For Mr. Brown, the program is something that he feels good about. 

"It helps me sleep good at night and it also provides something for these kids to remember in the future when they get older." 

A future that he hopes is bright. Mr. Brown also gives away gift cards.

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