Shave and a Haircut: Barber Courtney Holmes at Spark on Bluff

DUBUQUE – One local barber is providing a unique incentive for kids to read. With a new location and renovations, reporter Levi Bernhard steps in for clippings.

Courtney Holmes ImageCourtney Holmes says that he came up with the Tales for Trims program after an event with Anderson Sainci, one of the city resource managers of Dubuque. “We…basically put together a back-to-school bash to help these kids, who’s limited with supplies, and also limited with, uh, help around the community. There’s a lot of single families, so it was basically geared for low-income kids of color…”Haircut Image One

The Dubuque barber became a national celebrity after he created the Tales for Trims program at Spark Family Salon, originally located on Central.

“…[and he thought] hey man, it would be great if we could have kids do something. You know, like they could earn, you know, in a sort of way, going back to school…”

Held on the first Tuesday of every month from 4 to 6 P.M., Tales for Trims asks kids to read books and receive free haircuts, thus Book Imageencouraging literacy. If a kid is too young to read, then they are asked to recite the ABC’s or count. Rod Bakke, a member of the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce, praises Holmes’s community service efforts, and stated in an interview that the program was a great service for the downtown area.

Holmes plans to continue the activity, in spite of the challenges in moving to Spark on Bluff, a new barber shop. In an interview, Holmes said, “Uh, it’s gonna be different to adjust here, but for the most part, I mean, I like Bluff Street…”Spark on Bluff sign

He often feels that he can’t do enough for the community, and so he plans to expand Tales for Trims by working with Todd Boze, a Little Free Library representative in the Dubuque area.

The Chamber of Commerce conducted the ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, April 5, 2016, and welcomed Spark on Bluff to the community.

To learn more about Spark on Bluff, you can visit their Facebook page at cutting ceremony

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Levi Bernhard

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Levi Bernhard is currently a senior student at Loras College. He originally hails from St. Benedict, a small town near Algona, Iowa. Levi is a reporter and crew member for LCTV News, and helps contribute stories to productions. A couple years ago, he worked as an intern at Kossuth Regional Health Center, recording and editing videos. This past January, he went on a travel January Term course to Greece, where he helped create a couple of short documentaries about the country. He enjoys being in media studies because he likes the concepts of telling stories to wide audiences, and working with a variety of technology. He is also in media studies because he has a dream of becoming a filmmaker.

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