ackson Public Schools and Jackson Council PTA, local barbershops, City of Jackson, National PTA, Parents for Public Schools of Jackson, United Way of the Capital Area, Jackson Association of Educators, JPS Watch DOGS (Dads Of Great Students)

Students impacted: Approximately 400-500
Volunteers: 40+ barbers, in addition to community partners
Duration of partnership: Launched in 2015

Last June, the Jackson Council Parent Teacher Association launched a literacy initiative called "Books in the Barbershop." This literacy program is intended to be an ongoing community-wide effort to increase literacy and male engagement by eventually putting a little library into every barbershop in the city of Jackson.

Eleven barbershops served as the "pilot group" to launch the program. Partnering groups helped secure resources to supply book stations at participating barbershops across the city, and Jackson Council PTA members work with partners to evaluate progress, discuss needs, and lead efforts to increase participation. Book-donation centers for the program were established at City Hall, the JPS Teacher Resource Center, United Way of the Capital area, and local participating barbershops.

Activities:
• Supplied participating barbershops with book stations/crates
• Donation stations established at JPS Partners in Education Office and City Hall

Impacts:
• Initiative currently operates in 20+ barbershops, with 40+ barbers participating; number continues growing
• Parents have received information on engaging children
• Children see older males reading and encouraging them to read
• 3,500+ books donated to program
• Increased community support for scholars