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Barber School Students Preparing to Give Free Haircuts to Children in Their Community

PCC barber school students will practice for their future careers while helping out the community at the same time, when the program holds its annual "50 Free" event Aug. 24.

GREENVILLE—For the sixth straight year, Pitt Community College students training to become barbers will provide free haircuts and school supplies to children in grades K-12 as part of their program’s annual “50 Free” event.

Scheduled to take place Aug. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at PCC’s Barber School at Altitude Academy, the event will have youngsters looking their best when school starts back in Pitt County four days later. The goal, says Instructor Rodney Bullock, is to provide at least 50 free haircuts.

Bullock says the 30 students in his program will offer everything from standard brush cuts and fades to pompadours and comb-overs. “Whatever makes the children happy,” he said.

According to Bullock, “50 Free” began on the heels of a national campaign against bullying. He and his students have carried on the tradition the week prior to each new school year ever since.

“We wanted to do something to boost the kids’ confidence by helping them look their best,” he said. “We didn’t want any of them to feel inferior in any way. We always tell people that we want them to look as good as they feel.”

In addition to giving barber school students ‘real-world’ experience in handling many clients at once and maneuvering through a real barbershop setting, Bullock says “50 Free” emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community.

“I continually stress to my students that they must contribute to their communities in order to become successful entrepreneurs and productive citizens,” Bullock said.

Located on Charles Boulevard in Greenville, PCC's Barber School at Altitude Academy is designed to educate and introduce students to the field of barbering and the wide scope of styling that the industry encompasses. It’s a nine-month program in which students complete 1,528 hours of barbering theory and application as required by the N.C. Board of Barber Examiners.

Upon successful completion of their hours, students must complete 12 months of apprenticeship under the tutelage of an established, registered barber.