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Children Headed Back to School This Month Receive Free Haircuts from Barber School

Whether it was a special design or cut, Russell Canady and his fellow barber school students made sure that youngsters taking part in Wednesday's "Back to School Bash" will look their best when a new school year begins Monday morning in Pitt County.

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GREENVILLE—A number of Pitt County youngsters will be looking sharp when they head back to school next week, thanks to the generosity of Pitt Community College’s Barber School at Altitude Academy.

For the fourth year in a row, students studying to become barbers gave free haircuts to children in grades K-12 as part of their program’s annual “Back to School Bash.” The goal, says Altitude Academy Instructor Rodney Bullock, is to provide at least 50 free haircuts to school-aged children as part of the event.

“This is the epitome of who we are,” says Bullock, who teaches his students that they must give back to the community in order to become successful entrepreneurs. “We want to help shape the community in a positive way.”

Bullock said the “Back to School Bash” began on the heels of a national campaign against bullying. They’ve been doing it the week prior to each new school year ever since.

“We wanted to do something to boost the kids’ confidence by helping them look their best,” he said. “We didn’t want any of them to feel inferior in any way. We always tell people that we want them to look as good as they feel.”

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Bullock said a total of 27 students provided nearly 80 children with everything from standard brush cuts and fades to pompadours and comb-overs.

“Whatever makes them happy,” he said, adding that they even met one child’s request for “a little color” in his hair.

Bullock says that in addition to helping the community, the “Back to School Bash” is a benefit to students, who learn how to “maneuver in a real barbershop setting” as part of the event.

“They learn how to handle a large cluster of customers at once without getting flustered,” he added.

Located on Charles Boulevard in Greenville, Altitude Academy is designed to educate and introduce students to the field of barbering and the wide scope of styling the industry encompasses. It’s a nine-month program that requires students to complete 1,528 hours of barbering theory and application as required by the N.C. Board of Barber Examiners.

Upon successful completion of their hours, students must complete 12 months of apprenticeship under the tutelage of an established, registered barber.


08/21/2015