Young lawyers bring books, Cocky to school

Cocky’s Reading Express program coordinator Christine Shelek and Young Lawyers Division community law week co-chair Ryan Neville prepare to pass out books with Cocky at the school.

“Does Cocky lay eggs?” was the question of the day last Thursday for first-graders at Sanders-Clyde Elementary School.

Last week, the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division partnered with the University of South Carolina program Cocky’s Reading Express to promote children’s literacy during the annual Community Law Week.

Lawyers read aloud to 90 children and spoke with them about the importance of reading. Each child received a book of their own after making a pledge to Cocky that they will read aloud at home with their families.

“We want students to associate Cocky with the love of reading. We use him as a role model,” said Christine Shelek, program coordinator for Cocky’s Reading Express.

The ultimate goal of the program is to reduce the cycle of illiteracy among South Carolina residents.

“It’s important for us as a profession to give back in every way we can,” said Britt Kelly, attorney at Rosen Hagood and 9th judicial circuit YLD representative.

Kelly said service isn’t a new concept for the YLD. Several of the members volunteer at Sanders-Clyde on a weekly basis. They also have partnered with Cocky’s Reading Express in the past.

Community Law Week is sponsored by the South Carolina Bar YLD and takes place during the first week of May each year. Service projects are planned in each judicial circuit throughout the state.

Other Community Law Week events included Ask-A-Lawyer phone banks and web chats, a blood drive and a canned food drive.

Reach Jade McDuffie at 937-5560 or