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“Spring is in the Hair!” On Tuesday, student barbers and stylists from Gateway Technical College provided free haircuts and simple styles to students at Julian Thomas Elementary School. The event helped provide confidence and gave families access to hygiene resources. “Spring is in the Hair” was made possible thanks to Racine Unified’s partnership with the United Way. Additionally, the Gateway students received training hours for their work.

United Way of Racine County has a well-developed partnership with the Racine Unified School District Community Schools, which serve as a central hub for the families in the surrounding areas. Since 2016, this beneficial partnership has provided academic, family, financial, health and social support services throughout the three RUSD Community Schools, which are Julian Thomas Elementary, Knapp Elementary and Mitchell K-8.

Credit: United Way of Racine County

Katie Tuttle, the United Way of Racine County Community School Coordinator at Julian Thomas is essential in identifying problems and needs within the school. She works to address problems impacting students as they are reported. “I was approached by the school social worker,” said Tuttle, “who informed me that many families were having trouble accessing hygiene items. I also noticed that some students were being bullied due to a lack of resources around haircutting and hairstyles.”

Credit: United Way of Racine County

Once a problem was identified, Tuttle sought out a solution, which is how this event was born. Tuttle explained, “through place-based programming and local partnerships, we ensure that students, families and community members have the resources they need to succeed.” Not only did Tuttle coordinate “Spring is in the Hair,” but also allocated resources and organized a hygiene drive.

Spring is in the Hair: One of Several Community School Events

More than 50 haircuts and hairstyles were given that day to students. However, the need for hygiene products and care isn’t over yet. “‘Spring is in the Hair’ is just one of many great community school events we host throughout the year for the students and families,” Tuttle emphasized. Before this event was over, the next one – the hygiene drive – was already underway.

They are currently accepting donations for the school-wide hygiene drive at Julian Thomas. Visit the Amazon Wish List by clicking the button below.

Visit to stay updated on upcoming events and resources at the community schools.


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