SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — As violent crimes surge across Syracuse, one organization has found a way to keep children safe.
Kuts 4 Kids is a nonprofit organization that works to decrease violence by creating a positive environment for children in the community. They do this by offering free haircuts to kids 16 and under while they read every Tuesday.
“They wait in line according to their sign up on the wall for a haircut, and when they get in the chair, the book is passed down from one kid to the next kid, and they read,” said President Knowledge Aliel.
As the children read, the barbers speak with the parents and give them tips on how to teach their children to stay out of harm’s way. They also mentor the kids and give them positive reinforcement and activities.
“We’ve accomplished mentoringship, mentoring kids in our community to become safer in the community and to remain safe in the community, and to also help them have some direction,” said Aliel.
Aliel adds that they plan on expanding the organization in 2022, including opening a resource center to give kids a place to learn and grow where they feel safe. They are also hoping to offer free haircuts daily to increase the number of kids they help and decrease violence in the city.
Community children can receive free haircuts every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2846 S. Salina St.