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Relax, Relate, Release: D.C. Teacher Is Praised After Treating Young Students to a Self-Care Day

A Washington, D.C., teacher is being praised after going above and beyond for his students this holiday season with an event that left the youngsters beaming with confidence and pride.

As part of his “Holiday Hookup,” educator Azel “Zel” Prather Jr. treated 40 kindergartners at his KIPP DC Arts and Technology Academy school to a special day of self-care on Dec. 18, Because of Them We Can reported. Prather, a well-connected influencer in the nation’s capital, pooled his resources and tapped into his network of local business owners, which included barbers and hair stylists to manicurists and other community volunteers.

Azel Prather Jr. Hosts Self Care Day

Azel Prather Jr. treated 40 kindergarten students to a day of self-care, replete with haircuts and manicures. (Photos: @Hail_Zel / Twitter)

Together, they worked with Prather to provide a perfect day of pampering for his young students.

“Students have to know someone who looks like them and talks like them, and cares about them, inside and out of the classroom,” he told the outlet. โ€œI believe if you look good, you feel good and if you feel good, you do good. I just want them to feel good for the holidays.”

Volunteers were equipped with all that they needed to give the students a makeover: fingernail polish, hair bows, edge control, combs, brushes and the like. There was even someone to braid the kids’ hair if they wanted.

The event had a visible impact on the little ones, who were seen cheesing and showing off their hair and fingernails in photos and video posted by Prather.

“Oook! And you got your hair done,” he exclaims as a couple of students flash their freshly painted nails in the camera. “OK, girls!”

In another photo, a young boy is seen getting his hair cut and faded.

For Prather, the mission is to provide underserved families and students with the tools and resources they need to be successful. He does this work via his charitable organization, The Prather Foundation, which “aims to inspire, empower and connect the youth with purposeful programming and the commitment of devoted mentors,” according to its website.

In a social media post, Prather explained that many parents simply don’t have the time or the resources. That’s why he hosts events like the self-care day and his “Zelf on the Shelf” toy drive.

“It’s our Christmas hookup,” he told local station WUSA 9 in a recent interview. “We’re giving out manicures, they’re getting their hair done. It’s just our way of bringing resources into the community.”

Watch more in the video below.

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