Haircuts give students confidence, good start

Published 7:30 pm Friday, July 19, 2019

In a few weeks’ time, the William Griggs Recreation Center will see hair stylists and barbers come together to provide free back-to-school haircuts for elementary to high school students from throughout the community. On Sunday, Aug. 11 from 1 p.m.-4 p.m., the twelfth annual ‘Haircutz & Stylez 4 Kids’ event will be held, which has turned into a community staple prior to the first day of school in the past decade.

“Basically, this is just a free haircut for children in the community,” said organizer Michael Fannin. “It is a fun-filled day for families and gives them an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming school year.”

Fannin said that not only will the stylists be giving elementary to high school students free haircuts, but the first 100 students to arrive will receive a free backpack and school supplies, which certainly provides both an incentive for students and parents to show up early, but ensures a strong financial relief for families looking to supply their children with the needed school supplies.

When the event first began in 2008, approximately 30 students turned out to take advantage, a solid showing for any inaugural event of this kind. However, in the years since, more and more have shown interest in the event, and in the recent years, students have shown up in droves.

The reasons for the consistent increase in attendance is likely due to a combination of factors. The opportunity to receive a free service is no doubt the driving factor, as well it should be, however one of the more important and integral reasons this event is held is because it allows students to begin a new school year with a self-esteem boost.

The opportunity to have a new haircut, Fannin said, gives the kids more appreciation and increases their self-respect.

“Not only that, but it’s good to assist the families who can’t afford it,” Fannin said. “It always feels good to get new things.”

The importance of self-esteem for students, and adults, at any age cannot be overstated. Mental health maintenance and the importance of this has become a topic of ever-increasing importance with our youth, and those like Fannin who put on events such as this for the public should be heartily thanked.

We pass on our thanks to Fannin and everyone else who makes the ‘Haircutz & Stylez 4 Kids’ event possible each year. The impact this event has on those who attend may seem like a fleeting, momentary one to those on the outside, but those who participate in the event, both on the giving and receiving end, understand the impact that starting a new school year on the right foot can have. Thank you to all those involved.