Documentary Created On Local Barbers Who Are Grooming A Generation To Read

Sep 11, 2017

Credit Andrew Sacks

Barbers across Ypsilanti are taking an unconventional approach to combating illiteracy in the community.  89.1’s Lisa Barry spoke with filmmaker Andy Sacks, Ryan Griffin of Griff’s Unlimited Cutz, and Riley Peterson, also known as Riley the Barber, about a local program aimed at encouraging young children to read.  And now, a local filmmaker has created a documentary about the program that will be shown locally and on public TV.


Griffin operates the program in his barber shop, where he gives children a two-dollar reward or a discount on their haircut for reading one of the many books available there.

Andrew Sacks (left), Ryan Griffin (middle), and Riley Peterson (right).
Credit Lisa Barry

Peterson was inspired by Griffin’s approach and is one of eight barbers in the Ypsilanti area who now offers the discount.

Sacks has created a documentary about the program with showings on September 14th and 19th at the Ypsilanti Public Library, and it can be seen next month on Detroit Public Television.

In addition to Griffin’s shop, other Ypsilanti barber shops participating in the program include Premium Cutz, The Fuller Cut, Tha Shopp, Next Level, Nife's Salon, Smitty's, and Stylez Unlimited.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu