Books with Barbers
For our feature spotlight this week we are showcasing “Books with Barbers” founder, Jasmine Mix. Jasmine is a mother of 3 little girls as well as 1st grade teacher in the state of South Carolina. She had the idea to start this program in the summer of 2015 after she noticed that some of her young African American male students were lagging behind in reading comprehension. So as a result she developed a non-profit organization geared towards helping close the gap of young African American males in the area of literacy by reaching out to them where they flock to the most; the barbershop. Jasmine chose to target barbershops because they have a strong place of community amongst black men and their strong influence in the community. You would think that the shops would jump on the opportunity to help her cause but she was denied by the first 9 barbershops she tried to contact!! That was until she came into contact with Johnny Baez. Johnny Baez was enthusiastic about partnering with the program because it was a cause close to his heart. Until the 3rd grade he was having difficulties with reading but went on to eventually gain 2 degrees and open his own barber shop. After joining the cause and seeing the success that “Books with Barbers” was having with Mr. Baez store word spread to other shops and the program took off and eventually caught the attention of the Mayor who is now currently involved. To date the “Books with Barbers” program is in 32 barber shops in South Carolina, but the work doesn’t stop there. Jasmine’s goal as of now is to place books all throughout South Carolina and eventually spread to Atlanta and Charlotte.