Boys receive royal treatment at event

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Williford Elementary School second-grade teacher Christopher Fox, right, teaches Damarion Arrington, 7, how to tie a tie Monday during the third annual Cutz for Kingz at Rocky Mount High School.


Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The third annual Cutz for Kingz drew its largest group of participants so far on Monday with more than 300 boys attending.

The event took place at Rocky Mount High School as the elementary-age boys made their way through various stations in different rooms including a homework station, reading station, computer station and game station. Two special stations included a Kingz United station, where boys had an open dialogue with law enforcement officers about their views, and a “Life Class,” where boys had a discussion about manhood, learned how to tie a tie and also received a tie. 

The boys came from Williford Elementary School, which the event initially was centered around, and also from D.S. Johnson Elementary School, Baskerville Elementary School, Fairview Elementary School and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tar River Region.

Carlton Lane, 10, a fifth-grade student at Williford Elementary School, received a free haircut from Dennis Ramsingh, owner of D’s Cutzz, on South Church Street in Rocky Mount. Lane said this was his second time attending the event and remembered learning some valuable life lessons at the event. Lane’s goal is be a cartoonist.

“This is a cool event, and something that someone told me personally was never give up on your dreams,” Lane said.

Cutz for Kingz was started in 2016 by Quinnisa Doles, a fifth-grade teacher at Williford Elementary School. Doles said the event for the first two years was at Williford Elementary, which drew 100 boys the first year and roughly 200 boys last year.

Doles said the event allows the boys to receive royal treatment for a day in which the young men were greeted at the door, served a special spaghetti dinner catered by Pizza Inn complete with salad and bread that was contributed by several area businesses, and they went through the various stations.

“My hope from this event is that the boys are inspired to do more and I hope they look forward to being a man,” Doles said. “They get an opportunity to see who they could become because when they go home they don’t see that. They’re learning they don’t have to be out on the corner or selling something they aren’t supposed to be doing. They can be legitimate people doing good things in society.”

In addition to Ramsingh, who wanted to give back to the school he attended when he was younger, several other barbers volunteered their time and talents to give free haircuts to the boys. Rodney Bullock is the owner of Altitude Academy in Greenville that has a partnership with the Barber School Program at Pitt Community College.

Bullock said it was a no-brainer for him and the student barbers to come out for Cutz for Kingz. 

“We’re involved in community service, so when Quinnisa asked, we just said what day and where do we need to be,” he said. “The big part of our mission is to show younger people the benefit of going into trades versus going into four years of school after graduating from high school. Also, there is such a large part of the minority and underserved population that doesn’t get the opportunity to see a professional young black man in a business, owning a business and doing well having garnered accolades from the state for this type of profession.

“The more they see that the more they believe it can be achieved, so if I can be the catalyst for some of that, then I kind of accomplished a larger mission for helping young males get on track or stay on track.”