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Cocky's Reading Express

The Cocky's Reading Express™ literacy program features the Carolina mascot and USC student volunteers who travel the state in their own bus, visiting elementary schools and reading to students. 

What We Do

Cocky's Reading Express is the University of South Carolina’s literacy outreach program. USC students travel the state with their friend, Cocky, visiting elementary schools across South Carolina. The students read to the children, and Cocky helps the children understand the importance of life-long reading.

The program primarily serves students in 4K through second grade because research shows that if children acquire strong reading skills and a love of reading by the end of second grade they are more likely to succeed academically and graduate on time.  Our priority is reaching students in under served public schools.

All the children are given a book to take home, a reminder of their visit from Cocky and the USC students. The USC students know they are making reading fun — one Gamecock at a time.



Friday, March 16 
1 p.m. - Killian Road Elementary

Friday, April 6
Lancaster County – McDonald Green Elementary

Thursday, April 12 - SC Read-In – Statehouse
9:30 a.m.  – Meet at SCCCBL

*Dates subject to change.


Volunteer opportunities are available throughout the year.  Join us for a couple of hours or an entire day. It’s up to you! Email Christine Shelek for more details:

Our Sponsors

Julie and Mike Brenan, Bi-Lo, Boeing, BB&T, BP, Central Carolina Community Foundation, Colonial Life, Nexsen Pruet, Southern Way Catering, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, The Michael Jeffcoat Firm, SCE&G.

In the News

Cocky's Reading Express Promoting Early Literacy Across SC

Cocky excites Logan Elementary School students to promote reading

Final bow: Female Cocky graduating in style

Ten years of Cocky reads

BP donates $25,000 to Cocky's Reading Express

Students get Cocky about reading

Men's basketball participates in Cocky's Reading Express

Why Matters: Why is participation in Cocky's Reading Express important in the literacy battle

Milestone: Cocky’s Reading Express visits every county

Cocky's Reading Express making a difference in South Carolina