Turner Elementary Intervention Specialist builds student confidence through lunchtime haircuts

Jessica Harrington Image
Wednesday, July 3, 2024
Turner Elementary builds student confidence through lunchtime haircuts
During the school year, an intervention specialist became the "buzz" on campus for how he spent his lunchtime.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- You can find Carey Knox walking the halls to pull students out of class.

As an intervention specialist at Turner Elementary School, he focuses on the student's social-emotional learning.

"Teaching students about self-awareness, self-management, social skills," Knox said.

That includes periodic check-ins to see how students are doing.

It was through those check-ins he noticed something about JayVari Boyd, who wasn't playing much with other kids.

"I noticed like, you know what, I've been here all year long and you have not had a haircut," Knox said.

Knox, who went to barber school during the pandemic, got his principal's permission, then the parent's permission.

He found out the parents struggled to find someone to cut JayVari's hair well.

Knox gave the free haircut during lunch and said JayVari's demeanor completely changed.

"As soon as I was done, he was happy, running around, doing dances, jumping everywhere. I was like 'That's all it took, huh? Ok.'" Knox said.

Word got out that Mr. Knox was giving lunchtime lineups.

"When they found out I was cutting hair, I was getting a line of kids just coming in like, 'Can I get a haircut? Can I get a haircut? Can I get a haircut?'" Knox said.

Parents' permission is required, but Mr. Knox says he utilizes every moment he has with students in the chair.

"I'm kind of like building that relationship with them," Knox said.

It seems to be working. Knox says he can see how it impacts students, whether it's the talking or the trim.

"I feel like when you cut kids hair and you give them that self-confidence, you'll start to see a change and a difference," Knox said.

Mr. Knox hopes to continue haircuts next year.

He also hopes this inspires other barbers to either help him out here or help out in their own communities.

If you'd like to coordinate to donate your time with Mr. Knox, you can reach him via email at carey.knox@fresnounified.org.

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