School superintendent wears sandwich sign during lunch to promot - - The News for South Mississippi

School superintendent wears sandwich sign during lunch to promote literacy

Pascagoula-Gautier Superintendent Wayne Rodolifch. (Photo source: WLOX News) Pascagoula-Gautier Superintendent Wayne Rodolifch. (Photo source: WLOX News)

School may be out for the summer, but the learning shouldn't come to an end. That's the message one South Mississippi school superintendent is trying to send to parents. This week, he's leaving the office behind and heading to the stores as part of an unusual approach to promoting literacy.

Attention Walmart shoppers! Don't be surprised if you run into the superintendent of Pascagoula and Gautier schools wearing a sandwich sign while standing in front of the Pascagoula store.

"That's a packet of information for your children," he told several parents.

Wayne Rodolfich wasn't trying to raise money. He was just making an important pitch to parents: "The end of literacy is near, if you don't read to your children."

"I just wanted to do something different this summer. I wanted to show as administrators, we have a commitment to our teachers and to our children, and we're willing to get out and spread the word and hand these resources out," said Rodolfich.

"I got a reading packet here. Have a great day," he told shoppers as they walked in or out of the store.

Each packet contained reading tips, book suggestions, and why parents should read 20-minutes a day with their child.

"I think it's wonderful that he's out here promoting reading to children. I like it. I think it's wonderful," said Tonza Thompson of Moss Point.

"I respect him. There ain't too many superintendents that are going to stand out here and do what he's doing, so I love him," said Marquitta Buxton of Pascagoula.

"It's going really well, been real pleased. People are being really receptive. I think there's a little shock value involved in it when you have a person standing out here handing out stuff saying, please read with your children, but it's important," said Rodolfich.

"I think it's the best decision I've made this summer. I'm excited," he added.

Rodolfich didn't use pressure sales tactics on the shoppers.

"Just trying to make sure we're reading all summer," he told two ladies.

"Yes, Lord, you said that right. They need to learn how to read," one woman told him.

He hopes this unique method will make an impression on parents.

"Oh yeah, you can read body language as they're walking in. People are like, 'Oh gosh, he's going to try to sell me something'. I'm like, I'm just trying to sell a future for children here. So it's been a great day," said Rodolfich.

Rodolfich and several administrators will return to the Pascagoula Walmart on Wednesday from noon until 1:00 P.M. They will be in front of the Jerry Lee's grocery store in Gautier on Tuesday and Thursday.

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