The statewide literacy outreach program of the University of South Carolina promotes reading across South Carolina schools through regular visits from USC students and the university’s mascot as they team up to encourage reading.
“For nearly 40 years, BP’s Cooper River facility has called this community home, and it is a privilege to give back and encourage literacy through such a unique platform,” said Hope Lanier, BP’s government affairs representative for the Southeast. “Cocky's Reading Express has done a remarkable job of making reading fun for children across the state and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the University of South Carolina.”
BP has provided more than $150,000 to Cocky’s Reading Express. Past donations have been used to purchase children’s books, literacy materials and operational expenses. The largest donation was used to pay for the bus used to transport Cocky and student volunteers to schools and communities around the state.
“We are so thankful for the contributions from BP that will help us as we celebrate our 10th anniversary on the road to providing 100,000 books to South Carolina children,” said Kim Jeffcoat, executive director of the S.C. Center for Children’s Books and Literacy, the home of Cocky’s Reading Express.
Cocky’s Reading Express primarily serves students in 4K through second grades, 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. The priority has been reaching students in under-served public schools.
“We are seeing literacy rates in South Carolina improve and are looking forward to what the next 10 years of the program will bring,” Jeffcoat said.
National Blood Donor Month
The American Red Cross is asking eligible blood donors to make a resolution to give blood regularly in 2015, beginning with National Blood Donor Month in January.
National Blood Donor Month has been observed during January since 1970 and recognizes the importance of giving blood and platelets while honoring those who roll up a sleeve to help patients in need.
Donors of all blood types are needed, especially those with O negative, A negative and B negative. Red blood cells have a shelf life of 42 days and must be constantly replenished to maintain an adequate supply for patients.
To learn more about donating blood and to schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call (800) 733-2767.
The afternoon reading program offers free reading assistance to students in first through fifth grades who read below grade level.
The program meets 3:30-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year. Volunteer duties include assisting children with their reading, writing, spelling and other needs as the teacher leads the reading and writing discussions.
Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of two hours per week on a regularly scheduled day per week.
Interested volunteers should attend the Reading Program Volunteer Orientation and Training 6-7:30 p.m. Monday at The Salvation Army, 3024 Farrow Road, Columbia. The meeting will include a program overview, volunteer and background check paperwork, and safety training. Volunteers should bring a driver's license or state identification and three references.
To register or for more information, contact Jennifer Lambert at (803) 223-9969.