PUTNAM COUNTY – A new tradition may be in the works as Cookeville High School’s (CHS) Cosmetology program led by Nicki Goins gave the gift of haircuts to Putnam County School System (PCSS) elementary students who needed or were given permission to get one.
“This is the first year we have cut elementary school students’ hair,” said Goins. “We take clients on Thursdays and Fridays at the lab at CHS. However, this was a different environment for them to practice their skills. It gives the student’s experience and shows them how they can give back to their community through this trade. They see first-hand how it impacts a life by using their skills. It’s really amazing.”
PCSS Career Coach Leah Burnett adds, “This is a win-win. The high school students gain experience and see the impact it has on the kids, and the kids get a new hairstyle because they want to look good too. This has been a rewarding experience for me, personally, just to see the kid’s faces after they see their hair cut. A lot of big smiles.”
This event took place Dec. 9 and 10. A second-grader at Baxter Primary School shared, “I was most excited to get a mohawk.”
The cosmetology program is a CTE program of study and students can enroll all four years. Students may also receive dual enrollment credit through TCAT Livingston to go towards earning their license in cosmetology. Morgan Boswell is a senior who has been in the CHS program since she was a freshman.
“This has been great. It’s been good to educate the kids on what haircuts are and they get to experience a haircut and style, so they know what to expect when they go the next time,” said Boswell. “As a senior, my steps are to continue this path at TCAT (Tennessee College of Applied Technology) Livingston.”
Being younger in the program, CHS sophomore Brittany McCoy shares her experience cutting hair with the elementary students, “It has been a really good learning experience for me. Working with kids is different since we spend a lot of time practicing on mannequins. They move around a lot so you have to learn to work with them.”
This year, six Putnam County schools participated.
“The hope is to continue doing this and allowing students to use their skills to make a difference,” said Burnett.