LAYTON -- Reading, writing and arithmetic, followed by a haircut.
It may seem unusual, but some lucky students at Crestview Elementary School got to pause from their studies Wednesday to take advantage of the free haircuts offered by students in the cosmetology program at Davis Applied Technology College in Kaysville.
Within minutes, the school stage was transformed into a beauty salon with nearly 50 students receiving trims, buzz cuts, layers and new hairdos.
The cosmetology school provides the free haircutting program for a number of Title 1 schools throughout Davis County during each school year. According to Beckie Page, DATC salon manager, it is a win-win situation for both sides.
"Our students have to do a certain number of haircuts before they are proficient, so this is a great way for them to do a lot of haircuts and get a lot of practice working on a moving target," Page said.
From the school's perspective, when asked why they have the cosmetology students come in every two months to their school, Crestview Elementary Principal Lori Hawthorne's response was, "Why not? This is a great opportunity for our busy families to have their kids look good, which is a huge deal no matter what their age."
Kids have been exposed to media and they are cognizant of what's fashionable and what looks nice, Hawthorne said. As a result, the haircuts give the students an extra boost of self-esteem.
DATC cosmetology student Rochelle Farnsworth, 25, understands how the haircuts affect the students.
"I always feel better after I get a haircut. I like coming here and giving the kids more self-esteem with a good haircut and maybe help families who can't always afford a haircut," Farnsworth said.
Haircuts are one of those little expenses that often get cut first if budgets need to be tightened.
"It can be a hardship, and sometimes those little expenses can be taken out, but then those kids may be more self-conscious," Farnsworth said. "Kids already get teased for so many different things; this is one way to help them look how they feel they should."
Third-grader Dylan Parry looks forward to the regular haircuts.
"It makes me feel cool getting it done at school, because they do it really good," Dylan said.
Officials said DATC also enjoys the opportunity to serve others.
"We are intent on giving back," Page said. "Because we are a technology college, there are a lot of things we do to be involved in the community. So this is one way our department can give back."
DATC Cosmetology School instructor Cheryl Robinson, who helps the cosmetology students at each of the schools they go to, said she knows how much the kids care about their hair and how they look.
"It may seem like such a big thing for them, but it's just a small thing for us," Robinson said. "It's just our time and talents. But there is something special about giving back."