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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. In this interactive map, you can see all the South Carolina schools we have visited and the number of books we've donated in each county.

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. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are still visiting schools virtually.

Request a virtual visit »


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

Current Sponsors

Boeing, BP, Charleston County Bar Association, Dominion Energy, International Paper

Past Sponsors
Julie and Mike Brenan, Bi-Lo, BB&T, Central Carolina Community Foundation, Colonial Life, Columbia Arts Academy, Hearst Foundation, Nexsen Pruet, Southern Way Catering, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, The Michael Jeffcoat Firm

In the News

Going the extra mile for literacy

Literacy program continues to "grow" despite the coronavirus pandemic

2,000 kids joined together at the Statehouse for SC Read-In Day

Contact Us

Valerie Byrd Fort

Valerie Byrd Fort

For information about CRE or to volunteer:


Phone:  803-777-1730

Christine Shelek

Christine Shelek

For information on how you can support CRE:

Phone:  803-777-1339

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