Springfield businesses help students go back to school with confidence

Businesses cut hair for free and gave out free school supplies.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Education is important. Springfield businesses helped parents send their kids back to school in style.

On their day off, barbers opened up A Cut Above the Rest in downtown Springfield to cut kids’ hair for free. They hoped a fresh haircut would give students confidence for the new school year.

“I remember as a kid, all the struggles my parents went through to be able to afford us barber supplies and school supplies…so I just immediately wanted to give back to our community,” said barber and organizer of the event, Ivan DeLeon.

They gave free school supplies too.

“I think it’s an awesome thing. It saves me some time, all the extra hassle that I’m always going through when I’m always at work so I was able to make it here. They’ll be ready for school tomorrow,” said Vidailin Cardona of Springfield. She brought her two sons to get their hair cut before school.

At Beaute Within Salon & Day Spa in Springfield, hairdressers styled confidence for the first day of school, at discounted prices. Kids didn’t need to get a haircut to feel excited about the first day of school. Volunteers at the salon said every year they stand outside with backpacks full of free school supplies to hand out to neighborhood kids walking by.

As a business owner, Vanessa Hall said she felt responsible to help stop violence in Springfield.

“This event puts a charge on us to understand that the way out is our education. If we’re educating our youth to move forward to do great things, then they won’t even have time to even concentrate on those other things that we don’t want to talk about,” said Hall. She’s been holding this event for 12 years.

Parents were thrilled to see their children looking forward to learning.

“She’s an 8-year-old girl and you know that’s something for all little girls, they want to look pretty, especially the first day back to school,” said Rufus Polk of Springfield who brought his daughter, Vivian, to get her hair styled.

“Notebooks in here, crayons, pencils, she’s ready. She’s so excited. So this again is the icing on the cake,” said Tricia Polite of Springfield as she looked through a free backpack the salon gave her daughter, Morgan. Morgan was excited to start second grade.

For many parents, it’s a big expense to buy school supplies. These community efforts helped relieve some of that stress.

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