PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula school principals are taking their battle against illiteracy into the community. On Tuesday, they headed to a busy grocery store, carrying boards and a bold message.
"Would you like some summer reading material for the kids or grand kids?" one principal asked a lady.
They tried to catch every shopper, hoping to fill their carts and bags with one more item. Pascagoula school principals, assistant principals, and the superintendent's leadership team stood outside Jerry Lee's Grocery on Ingalls Avenue, wearing signs with this ominous warning: "The End of Literacy is Near."
"I don't feel silly at all. I think it's for a good cause," said Pascagoula High Assistant Principal Prentiss Williams.
The administrators also handed out packets filled with tips and strategies to encourage parents to read to their children at least 20 minutes a day.
"I think it's amazing, awesome!" said Clara Powe of Moss Point.
"We want to them be readers for life. They've got to grow up, get jobs, support themselves and they've got to be able to read," said Beach Elementary Principal Shirley Hunter.
Hunter believes in the district's "Read, Read, Read Campaign." All of her students passed the Third Grade Reading Gate test two years in a row.
"We were 100-percent at Beach and hey, she helped make that for us. So I'm very proud of her," said Hunter as she hugged one of her students.
And Brittany Barron is a mom and teacher who personally experienced the benefits of books.
"My older two actually started with special education rulings, and due to all the available resources from our district, she actually signed out of special ed this year, going into third grade," said Barron.
Kaylee Barron knows turning the pages can turn her life around.
"Do reading and you'll be smart," she said.
On Thursday, administrators will take this literacy campaign to Jerry Lee's Grocery in Gautier.