University of South Carolina

Cocky’s Reading Express enters Pepsi contest

The University of South Carolina’s Center for Children’s Books and Literacy has entered Cocky’s Reading Express in this month’s Pepsi Refresh Project, a monthly competition run by the soda-pop manufacturer that rewards good ideas that have a positive impact.

The center is competing for a $50,000 grant for the November competition. Votes for Cocky’s Reading Express can be cast daily at

If chosen as one of the top 10 projects, USC would use the money to continue its efforts to break the cycle of illiteracy through education and outreach. Among its practices are giving books to school children, providing literacy kits to families and educating families on encouraging life-long reading habits.

Ellen Shuler Hinrichs, executive director of the center, encourages people to vote daily through the end of November and outlines how the funds would be used.

As part of Cocky’s Reading Express, student volunteers will visit children in 35 underserved elementary schools in three counties across the state, all home to USC campuses. These volunteers read aloud to children and, to emphasize the importance of life-long reading, give books to all children who pledge to read aloud with their family.

To reinforce these visits, the School of Library and Information Sciences, which houses the center, will host a family literacy program in each of the targeted counties. Families will receive information about the importance of reading at home and will receive a literacy kit that includes three picture books.

Cocky’s Reading Express has partnered with Student Government for more than five years to bring the joy of reading and the values of literacy to children across South Carolina. The program has gained national acclaim for its unique partnership of student government, the School of Library and Information Sciences and the university mascot.

For more information on the South Carolina Center for Children’s Books and Literacy and Cocky’s Reading Express, contact Ellen Shuler Hinrichs at 803-734-8207.

By Office of Media Relations

Posted: 11/10/10 @ 5:05 PM | Updated: 11/16/10 @ 3:12 PM | Permalink