Cayce, S.C. (Sept. 20, 2016) –To help promote literacy and improve early reading skills among elementary school students in South Carolina, SCE&G has announced a $25,000 donation to Cocky’s Reading Express.
The statewide literacy initiative of the University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science is aimed at reaching students and their families in under-served schools and communities statewide. SCE&G presented the donation to USC officials during an event in Columbia on Sept. 19.
“Just as our employees must have the proper training, tools and equipment necessary to provide gas and electricity to our customers’ homes each day, we know that strong reading skills are the foundation that children need to succeed in school and in life,” said Keller Kissam, president of retail operations for SCE&G. “That’s why we’re so proud to support Cocky’s Reading Express, a multi-generational family literacy program that helps instill a love of reading and a lifetime of learning for young students and their parents.”
For more than 10 years, Cocky’s Reading Express has served 4K through second grades students in Title I schools across South Carolina. The school visits include interactive book readings by USC student volunteers, a surprise visit by Cocky and a free book for each student taking a pledge to read daily. Family Literacy Night events are held in collaboration with the school visits and include a family dinner, a book reading with Cocky, and additional educational resources, training, and literacy support for the entire family.
“Cocky’s Reading Express has been able to promote literacy to students statewide for nearly 11 years,” said Christine Shelek, program coordinator for Cocky’s Reading Express. “We know 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. With partners like SCE&G, we’re able to reach more students each year and make a measurable impact on literacy rates in our state.”
Through SCE&G’s support of the program, Cocky and USC student volunteers will visit Title I elementary schools in Columbia, Aiken and other cities throughout SCE&G’s service territory during the 2016-2017 school year. The group already has visited Logan Elementary School in Columbia, Hyatt Park Elementary School in Columbia and Fairfax Elementary School in Allendale. Other visits and Family Literacy Night events are planned this school year.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 706,000 customers in 24 counties in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 352,000 customers in 38 counties in the state.
About Cocky’s Reading Express
Cocky's Reading Express™
is a collaboration between the University of South Carolina Student Government and the School of Library and Information Science. 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.