Haircuts for Reading. On the first Monday of each month O’Neil’s Barbershop opens its doors to boys 3-13 providing free haircuts in exchange for reading books as well as mentor led activities, reading support and a healthy dinner. In 2016 the program expanded to provide haircuts for reading to local elementary schools. Starting in November 2023 Line4Line is excited to include girls! Toni Elzy and Teanna Ellis, stylists @ O’Neils Barbershop, will provide girls two feed in braids for reading a book while in the chair. As with our barbershop reading program kids are seen on a first come first serve program. Program is held from 4-7; come early to sign up. Line4Line will lead activities and have yummy food for kids waiting for their cut/style.
Literacy On site @ O’Neil’s Barbershop is this colorfully painted Little Free Library, stocked with used and new books and accessible 24/7 to the greater community. Line4Line works with the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library to re-home gently read books throughout the city, giving them out at community events and to organizations upon request. ADD FORM HERE Line4Line’s Community Lending Library features over 850 books, from board books to biographies, for all reading levels and interests, focusing on diversity, specifically Black history, Black achievements, social equity, BIPOC authors and illustrators. Click here to access the complete book database. Book of the Month Program is a free program designed for ages 4-8, featuring a picture book along with an activity. This program is in partnership with The Conscious Kid who have generously provided books for this program. For more info and to sign up.
Workforce Development O’Neil Curtis teaches a signature Barber/Mentoring program to high schoolers, which provides hands-on learning and practical business skills, and during the summer months Line4Line hires teen-mentor instructors to assist with youth programming while providing a rewarding summer employment.
Mentoring Line4Line’s barbers are our best mentors. Our Barbers as Mentors Program includes several initiatives including our Haircut for Reading Program, Clippers Youth Basketball League, Youth Bowling Program which are all staffed by the Barber Team. In 2022 Line4Line entered into an agreement with BREC to provide enrichment programs at Kernan Park. Kernan Park, located one block west of the barbershop complex is the site of the Line4Line Clippers Youth Basketball Program and Line4Line Schools Out Camps. Click Here for more information.
Community In 2017 Line4Line received funding to create three large scale public art murals by Chicago based artists Rahmin Statik and Cujo-Dah at the Barbershop complex which celebrate reading, Black books and Black role models. In 2019 Line4Line released Clip Tips, a series of six videos featuring a puppet, barbers and community members discussing tough topics facing youth in a playful manner. Images from this project were turned into Billboards which were placed around Baton Rouge to promote Black men and boys as readers. In September 2021, Line4Line as part of Ebb & Flow Festival received a grant to bring artist Lenny Foster to create photos of Line4Line program which will be placed as billboards along I-10 creating two large scale public artworks that celebrate on reading.
In 2020-21 worked with the Conscious Kid organization to bring 2800 diversity focused books into 54 local elementary schools. This project promotes conversations around race, racism and resistance and to create greater access to BIPOC books within Baton Rouge. Partners for this project included the East Baton Rouge Parish School System; East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library and Knock Knock Children’s Museum. Click here for more details on this project including a list of all books, links to East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library online collection and activities.
Outreach Line4Line attends community events both large and small with our books, activities and mobile barber/bookmobile. We also provide school based instruction, through our Change the Narrative and Creative Literacy Programs. and collaborate with partner organizations throughout the year to inspire their young people as readers and creators. Click Here to request Line4Line at your event / school /program.
Curriculum Development & Instruction In 2021 Line4Line began working with the Big Buddy Program to developed a creative literacy curriculum for their summer and after school Bookwork Program. In 2021 the Change the Narrative Curriculum was developed and piloted at Merrydale Elementary. The program expanded in 2022/2023 to serve students at Capitol Elementary and Audubon. Line4Line also provides creative literacy instruction in the form of after school instruction and special contract instruction to schools and community organizations.
Youth City Lab In 2020 Line4Line joined forces with Humanities Amped, Big Buddy Program and Front Yard Bikes as the Angel Coalition to establish the Youth City Lab, a full service youth program facility located in Mid-City providing young people with access to a variety of out-of-school programs under one roof. The YCL is currently involved in a Capitol Campaign to renovate a historic church on Government Street to house all four programs including the Line4Line Barbershop and Library where young people can learn barbering trade, supported as readers, inspired as learners and mentored as entrepreneurs. Make a Donation to YCL Campaign.