It Takes A Village: When the Barber Also Pushes Literacy

It Takes A Village: When the Barber Also Pushes Literacy

It Takes A Village: When the Barber Also Pushes Literacy

By MindShift Physical Therapy and Wellness

It Takes A Village: When the Barber Also Pushes Literacy

When Ben Hyatt stopped by to get his hair trimmed, his barber stopped him for a brief chat. They exchanged stories. Their future collaboration grew from that small, informal conversation.

Ben Hyatt, a longtime emcee for a Kenosha high school talent show, and his barber wanted to help improve the lives of young people by engaging them in healthy activities and a variety of conversations. The two visited a local chapter of Project 250, a local organization that advocates for everyone, irrespective of age, income, and culture, to participate in healthful, preventative activities. The model, The Well Coach, is designed to encourage dialogue and serve as a catalyst for further education and recreational choices. The Well Coach works with at-risk youth to educate them on various habits they can strengthen by exercising. Dr. Alan Rudolph, medical director of Project 250, hopes to provide young people with a chance to help change the world around them and fulfill their full potential.

In order to teach the Kids We Care program, the students receive motivation and accountability from the community. They’re given a daily assignment. This could be eating healthier food, exercising, socializing, or pursuing a different career. The more actively they use these skills, the more privileges and privileges they receive. These are called “WISH Coins”. A total of 3,500 coins can be earned and given. The coins are redeemable for items such as cell phones, wallets, clothes, and food.

The Well Coach formed a partnership with Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Marshfield Hospital that allowed the kids to receive a very important action with their “WISH Coins”. On the young patients’ occasions, their doctors came into the NICU, shaved their heads, and allowed them to hold their donated Hair Therapy Mini-Moldings.

“We want the kids to know that there is an outside world who cares about them. We all have a part to play in making a difference,” stated Chas Vail, pediatrician, known as the “Hair Crazy Doc”. “Through Hair Therapy Mini-Masks, the kids have a chance to feel special and special enough that they can partake in their activity of choice.” The Kids We Care program sends these kids the illusion of a normal life, one that was taken away from them long ago. Once they understand that someone cares, it is important for them to understand that without that caring factor, they would never be where they are. It’s important for them to realize that health is a choice. The program is a life saver. It gives them hope. For young people who are out of their usual routine, having any distraction that brings them somewhere safe and comfortable is beneficial. The adult life for young people is a constant struggle. Going out at night, having to visit the hospital, socializing with others is a struggle. But who would not want to help these children through a project such as this?

“My hands are shaking,” Ben Hyatt commented at the Kids We Care day. “What a big opportunity we have here! We are going to get everyone excited and take our kids out for their day.”

The Kids We Care project “This touches your heart. We’re very proud of you!” accompanied by a head of long blond hair and a smile from his gold gloved hands, had a profound effect on the barber. “If we keep something like this going, it is going to help more kids. It’s going to save more kids’ lives,” he said. “Anything we can do to change somebody’s life is worth it.”

“Somebody’s life, regardless of how young, matters to me,” he added.

His advice to the kids: “Be a role model. Take care of yourself and have fun, and enjoy yourself. Don’t worry about what people are going to think about you, they don’t really know. It’s up to you to be a role model, and continue to do everything you can to change the world.”

This article is reprinted from www.mindshiftphysicaltherap….

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