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Cocky helps launch BC Grammar No. 1 Reading Initiative

West Columbia, SC - Everyone loves a surprise -- especially when it involves a new book and a University of South Carolina mascot.

Cocky made a surprise visit to an all-school assembly Wednesday at BC Grammar No. 1, where USC students read books aloud as part of Cocky’s Reading Express. Students at the Lexington Two school also received copies of Sandra Markle’s book, “What If You Had Animal Ears?”

“Programs like this get the students pumped about reading,” said Christopher Dickey, principal at BC Grammar No. 1. “Cocky is a celebrity with instant recognition. Having him promote reading makes the act of reading a cool and exciting experience.”

The Cocky’s Reading Express event helped launch a year-long initiative to build a literacy culture at BC Grammar No. 1, working through teachers to engage students, parents and others in the community. The partnership is funded with a Hearst Foundation grant for USC’s Community Based Literacy Initiative and involves roles for the South Carolina Center for Children’s Books and Literacy, the College of Information and Communications, and the College of Education.

Wednesday’s event got the new reading initiative off to a strong -- and enthusiastic -- start.

“Our goal," Dickey said, "is to build a love for reading in all of our students.”

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