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Operation Hair Care provides hair cuts for Colonial School District elementary students

Joe Irizarry
Delaware Public Media

A partnership between the Colonial School District and Paul Mitchell The School-Delaware offers basic hair care services for needy elementary students.

About 20 students bussed to the school on Route 40 in Bear Tuesday where they received haircuts, clipper cuts, blow dry and shampoo by the cosmetology students as part of Operation Hair Care.

The outing for the needy students provides services they usually don’t get because of their circumstances - like staying at a shelter or motel room.

The added benefit for this visit is the kids have their hair done for the holidays.

Heather Yacabell is a family crisis therapist at Pleasantville Elementary School.

"It just provides a much needed boost of self-confidence and self-esteem. I had the privilege of being here in October, and just seeing the smiles beaming from the kid's faces after they got their hair done, it was priceless. So it just gives them that extra boost. I know many of them when they return to school they just felt so excited just to show everyone and just gave them that needed confidence to feel better about themselves," said Yacabell.

Yacabell adds it also impacts their performance back at school, where feeling better about themselves makes them more ready to learn.

Paul Mitchell The School-Delaware school education leader Lissette Rodriguez says they got a spa-like experience.

"The kids come in and we will do manicures, haircuts, blow dry, clipper cuts, and we just play with them and have fun,” said Rodriguez. “And my students have an opportunity to give back, and they (the Colonial elementary students) have an opportunity to experience what a hair service should be."

The partnership between the district and the cosmetology school provides the makeovers to students that might not normally get hair care like this for financial reasons.

Rodriguez adds the Colonial students are always so appreciative, and usually make drawings as a thank you for the hair care.

She notes they do this three or four times a year with students from the district, and it resumed this year after being paused by the pandemic.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.