NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell surprises kids at Barbershop Books kickoff event

LAS VEGAS – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made a surprise appearance at an event where members of the NFL Legends Community, local barbers and 150 children from the Boys & Girls Clubs joined the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District in launching the Barbershop Books literacy program. Activities included storytime with NFL Legends, Microsoft’s Minecraft Activation with Surface Tablets and crafts, Play60 Skills and Drills activities on the outdoor plaza, and FREE haircuts for children from participating partner barbershops. Plus each child received an NFL swag bag and a free book. The event took place at the Clark County Library.

Barbershop Books encourages area youth to discover the joy of reading through the safe, welcoming space of their neighborhood barbershops. The nationwide program was founded by former elementary school teacher Alvin Irby, who has been named one of CNN’s Top 25 Heroes of 2023 for his work in literacy.The program is part of the NFL  Inspire Change social justice initiative, which is collaborating with Barbershop Books and the Library District with support from Microsoft.

Barbershop Books works with community partners across the country, like the Library District, to provide access to fun books and positive reading experiences through neighborhood barbershops in underserved communities nationwide.

NFL funding will help Barbershop Books and the Library District recruit 10 barbershop partners to launch the program in the Las Vegas region, toward the goal of inspiring children to read while they’re waiting for a haircut or while they’re sitting in the barber chair.

Microsoft is contributing $100,000 in hardware and software to the Library District, as well as providing Minecraft Education Edition software and professional staff development, to enable the Library District to incorporate Minecraft in its digital literacy programming.

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