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Sept. 23, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina women’s basketball kicked off its “Read with the Gamecocks” program this week. In its 11th year, the program has a greater initiative to promote literacy in elementary schools (grades kindergarten through fifth). Last year the program had 103 participating elementary schools that read over 1.4 million pages. This program has made reading fundamental to 4,395 elementary school students across the state of South Carolina.

Due to last year’s success, this year’s program features a three-part “Reading Heroes” comic book series focused on the three core values important to South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley and the Gamecock women’s basketball team. The program now offers students three separate opportunities to “Read with the Gamecocks,” incentives to attend three South Carolina women’s basketball games, and three special events with South Carolina Athletics.

The first portion of the program began September 21 and runs through October 2. During this time, each participant keeps track of his/her reading with his/her parents or guardians. At the end of the contest, participants submit their results to their teachers, who record the results and add them to the school’s total. Winners will be chosen from each grade and recognized at the Reading Celebrations. In a change from the previous years, the overall winners from each grade will be named following the third part of the program and be recognized in the “Reading Heroes” comic book.

All students who participate in the program will receive a “Reading Heroes” comic book that will include a ticket to the corresponding Reading Celebration game.

The “Read with the Gamecocks” program is scheduled as follows:
Hard Work and Perseverance
September 21, 2009 Contest Begins
October 2, 2009 Contest Ends
November 22, 2009 Perseverance game: vs. Penn State at 3 p.m.

Health and Nutrition
December 14, 2009 Contest Begins
December 26, 2009 Contest Ends
January 17, 2010 Health and Nutrition game: vs. Auburn at 3 p.m.

Literacy and Education
January 4, 2010 Contest Begins
January 15, 2010 Contest Ends
February 14, 2010 Literacy and Education game: vs. Arkansas at 3 p.m.

For information on how your student can participate please email Chanell Thomas at

Participating South Carolina Elementary Schools
(A.J.) Lewis Greenview Elementary
A.C. Corcoran Elementary
B.D. Lee Elementary
B-C Grammar School No. 1
Beaufort Elementary
Bells Elementary
Bethune Bowman Elementary
Boiling Springs Elementary
Boykin Academy of Performing Arts
Broad River Elementary
Brockman Elementary
Camden Elementary School of the Creative Arts
Carolina Elementary
Carver-Lyon Elementary
Chapin Elementary
Crosswell Drive Elementary
Cyril B. Busbee Elementary
Daufuskie Island Elementary
Denmark-Olar Elementary
East Cooper Montessori Charter School
Edisto Primary
Fennell Elementary
Forts Pond Elementary
Foster Park Elementary
Gilbert Elementary School
Gilbert Primary
Gray Court- Owings Elementary
Herbert A. Wood Elementary
Hollis Academy
Irmo Elementary
Joseph Keels Elementary
Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary
Kelly Miller Elementary
Keowee Elementary
Killian Elementary
Kingstree Elementary
Lake Carolina Elementary
Laurens Elementary
Lemira Elementary
Lexington Elementary
Little Mountain Elementary
Lloyd- Kennedy Charter School
Lower Lee Elementary
Lugoff Elementary
Manning Early Childhood Center
Meadowfield Elementary
Mellichamp Elementary
Midway Elementary
Mill Creek Elementary
Millwood Elementary
Mount Lebanon Elementary
Mt. Pisgah Elementary
North Hartsville Elementary
North Springs Elementary
Pleasant Hill Elementary
Port Royal Elementary
Rivelon Elementary
Saluda Primary
Sandhills Intermediate
Saxe Gotha Elementary
Springdale Elementary
W.B. Goodwin Elementary
W.M. Anderson Primary School
Waterloo Elementary
Webber Elementary
Whittaker Elementary
Woodruff Primary