Boy wearing backpack

It Takes a Village sends students to school with free hairstyles and school supplies

After sending 150 Galveston students to school with fresh hairstyles last year, It Takes a Village is back for its second year on Sunday, Aug. 20 at Noche’ Berry’s Salon.

The back-to-school fair, featuring a variety of hair services and free school supplies, runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hairstyle signups end at 2 p.m., while haircut signups end at 2:30 pm.

The fair was started by Galveston-native Franklin Berry, who noticed the impact of limited access to haircuts and hairstyles on students' morale, especially on the first day of school.

After relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, Berry became a licensed barber and developed expertise in working with various hair types. Later, while living in Brooklyn, New York, Berry offered complimentary haircuts to the homeless, witnessing firsthand how a simple hair transformation could uplift a person's spirits.

Berry combined his knowledge and experience with a desire to help his community after returning to Galveston. UTMB medical school student Bianca Obinyan helped Berry secure $5,000 through UTMB’s John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine to fund hair products and school supplies. The academy was founded to recognize physicians who provide highly compassionate care and to encourage the teaching and practice of such care to medical students.

Organizers hope to provide services to at least 300 students at the back-to-school fair.

“This initiative taught me how community-driven efforts, rooted in empathy and a commitment to improvement can create positive change,” Obinyan said. "It Takes a Village is more than an event; it's proof of the strength of unity and compassion in fostering a stronger community.”

Noche Berry’s Salon is located at 3106 Market Street in Galveston.