By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A North Philadelphia Barber Shop is encouraging literacy and building community.

Mr. Jazz the barber owns Creative Image Unisex Hair Salon at 28th and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

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He put down his haircutting tools for a little bit and took a seat near his new “book nook” inside the shop full of reading materials geared toward kids up to five years old.

The new 'book nook' at Creative Image Unisex Hair Salon. (Credit: John McDevitt)

The new ‘book nook’ at Creative Image Unisex Hair Salon. (Credit: John McDevitt)

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“I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes,” Jazz said, reading “Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes” to a group of day care center kids.

“I’m doing this because the kids are our future and the kids definitely need to learn how to read early on,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “And while they are waiting for their haircuts, they can be occupied reading their books and it broadens their creativity as well.”

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“The book nook” is an effort by Words at Play Vocabulary Initiative — a community-wide, grant-funded program bringing literacy to communities by meeting people where they live.