Barber School Collecting ’50 Free’ Donations

PCC Barber School Instructor Rodney Bullock takes time out for a photo with a youngster receiving a haircut as part of '50 Free.'

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

Scheduled for Aug. 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at PCC’s Barber School at Altitude Academy, “50 Free” will ensure youngsters are looking their best when the new school year begins. The goal, says Instructor Rodney Bullock, is to provide at least 50 free haircuts, 50 free backpacks and a variety of school supplies. He said school supply donations would be accepted until the day of the event.

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 with handling many clients at once, 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,” he said.

Located on Charles Boulevard in Greenville, PCC’s Barber School at Altitude Academy introduces students to the field of barbering and the wide scope of styling it encompasses. It’s a 12-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, students must complete a 12-month apprenticeship under the tutelage of an established, registered barber.