Literacy Intervention at the Wal-mart

Walmart is my favorite place to stumble upon accidental literacy. It’s like I can’t help but advocate for reading and writing just by walking through the huge double doors. It’s the magic kingdom of literacy awareness.

The location of my most recent accidental literacy intervention.

The location of my most recent accidental literacy intervention.

So Saturday I ran into my favorite Wal-mart to get the usual (coffee, yogurt, socks, posterboard if you must know) and my accidental literacy moment happened in the checkout lane.

Full disclosure, I love Wal-mart.

However, I hate the check-out lane.

I always pick the wrong one. Always! At least I have lots of time to scan the trashy magazines and talk myself out of buying band-aids and candy bars.

Eventually I got up to the checker and she was a nice girl who looked to be about aged 12. She and I got to chatting and you could have knocked me over with a bag of Sunchips when she mentioned she had a 2 1/2 year old son!

She mentioned that he’s really smart for his age. With that comment I pounced with all the force of a literacy evangelist.

“I’m sure he’s super smart! Do you read to him?” I asked.

“Yeah.” Young checker girl replied.

“Reading to your child is so important! Especially when you have such a bright little guy like you do! Read to him every day! Do you read to him at night?” I smiled in what I hoped was an engaging and non-maniacal manner.

“Not every night. I work late some nights. He loves books though.”

“That’s okay, you don’t need to read only at night. You can read to him anytime. Bathtime! Breakfast time! In the doctor’s office! My son loved to bring books when we got the oil changed and had to wait. Don’t think you can only read at bedtime.”

“Hmmm. Really? I’ll have to try that.”

At this point the person behind me has nudged her cart into my back.

“Anytime is a good time to read. You have one lucky little boy!” I took my receipt, waved, and left.

I wish I’d paid attention to her name. I would have brought by some books that my son has outgrown and dropped them off.

Maybe I’ll still do that. I do go to Wal-mart often.

When have you seized the opportunity to talk about reading aloud?


One Comment on “Literacy Intervention at the Wal-mart”

  1. Kris says:

    More of us need to advocate reading anywhere and anytime.

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