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College of Information and Communications

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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 a collaboration between the University of South Carolina Student Government and the School of Library and Information Science Center for Children's Books and Literacy.

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 books to take home, reminders of their visit from Cocky and the USC students. The USC students know they are making reading fun — one Gamecock at a time.

Fall Schedule

  • October 15, 2015 – Newberry County
  • October 29, 2015 – Beaufort County
  • November 12, 2015 – Dorchester & Berkeley Counties
  • November 20 – 22, 2105 - Cocky’s Reading Express 10th Anniversary Celebration


Volunteer opportunities are available throughout the year.  Join us for a couple of hours or an entire day. It’s up to you! Volunteers participate in a variety of activities including: reading out loud to students, organizing book purchasing and distribution, promotion, training new volunteers and assisting with special projects. Contact us for more details.

Our Corporate Sponsors

Central Carolina Community Foundation, Bi-Lo, BP, South Carolina Bank and Trust, Verizon

In the News

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