Kiwanis

Three students from Keys Gate Charter School, left to right, Rafael Dedamel, Sebastian Stanley and Caleb Bravo, read aloud while getting their haircuts at Miami Clippers Family Barbershop as part of the South Dade launch of ‘The Children’s Trust Books for Free’ initiative. Launched in conjunction with the Kiwanis Club of Homestead-South Dade and the Miami Book Fair, the South Dade program offers kids the opportunity to receive a 10 percent discount on their haircuts if they read aloud. In addition, the children get to keep the books.

The Kiwanis Club of Homestead-South Dade (HomesteadKwanis.org), one of South Florida’s most active community service organizations, recently joined with The Children’s Trust and Miami Book Fair to launch the expansion of an ongoing literacy initiative through the placement of children’s bookshelves in two Miami Clippers’ barbershop locations in Homestead.

Miami Clippers offers a 10 percent discount on the cost of a haircut for children who read a book aloud during their haircut and the kids get to keep the book as part of ‘The Children’s Trust Books for Free’ program.

“Having the kids read out loud helps instill self-confidence,” said Emily Guzman, president of the Homestead Kiwanis at the recent South Dade kick-off for the program. “In addition, taking the book home with them gives them pride of book ownership and enhances their lives. This is a great program for the kids, their parents and the entire community.”

The two Miami Clippers’ locations at Crystal Lake Plaza, 3336 NE 7th Street and Waterstone Plaza, 3040 NE 41st Terr., are among the most popular of the program’s 65 locations throughout Miami-Dade County. The two venues each distribute about 200 books every month.

At the South Miami-Dade launch, three students from nearby Keys Gate Charter School came into the Miami Clippers’ Crystal Lake Plaza location, selected books from the eye-catching bookshelf and began to read aloud while photographers and the media recorded the event.

“When Kiwanis first approached me about being part of this program, I was excited, I was all-in because it fits perfectly into our ongoing philosophy of giving back to the community,” said Miami Clippers owner, Alberto Eiras. “Over the past 15 years, we’ve supported the local schools in a variety of ways. Helping kids appreciate reading and encouraging them to read aloud was another opportunity to step up for our Homestead community.”

Reading with kids has been one of the key, ongoing community service projects for the Kiwanis Club of Homestead-South Dade, which is currently looking for two more locations for ‘The Children’s Trust Books for Free’ initiative. For the past 16 years, the club has held weekly reading sessions with local elementary school children, including via Zoom during the pandemic.

For information on the Kiwanis Club of Homestead-South Dade or to participate in one of their community-service projects, visit HomesteadKiwanis.org or contact Guzman at (786) 399-4161.

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