LOWELL — Need a fade, a shape-up, a blow-out or just a little trim? For most of us that would mean making an appointment at a pricey salon or barbershop, but the kids at the Sullivan Middle School can skip the trip to Supercuts — they have Husky Kutz.
On Tuesday, Nov. 28, a ribbon cutting was held at the Sullivan Middle School for their new in-house barbershop — Husky Kutz — the first barbershop to operate in any middle school in the commonwealth.
Last school year, Community Schools Program Manager Gayl Hurley brought in a barber a couple of times to provide free haircuts for students. The response was incredible, with nearly 60 students signing up within a couple of days.
She quickly realized the need and desire for this service. Last spring Hurley began the complicated process of building out a fully-licensed barbershop — complete with a barber pole — in the school. It is funded through a federal Community Schools grant awarded to the district earlier this year.
Community schools are places where the strengths and needs of students, families, and neighborhood are addressed through partnership. A network of local agencies brings resources, services, and programs directly to the school buildings — including things like onsite food pantries, clothing and toiletries, vision and dental care, adult English classes, mental health care services, family cooking classes, access to resume building and job opportunities, tutoring, mentoring programs, and much more — like haircuts.
Lucas, a seventh-grader, was the lucky student who won the opportunity to have the very first haircut at Husky Kutz.
A fresh haircut boosts self-esteem, especially at the middle school level. And when kids feel better about themselves their attendance and academic performance improve. Additionally, with everything being so expensive today, some families struggle to find the funds or even the time for regular haircuts.
Master Barber Joey L’Heureux, of The Shoppe LLC on Bridge Street in Dracut, will be at the Sullivan every Monday providing haircuts for boys and girls free of charge from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Hurley has set up a Google form for families to make appointments for their kids. L’Heureux was already fully booked for his first day before the ribbon was cut, and is now booked through Jan. 8.