Cocky's Reading Express visits GPS!

Posted by Deborah Oswald on 2/24/2020 8:00:00 AM

Thanks to a grant from Dominion Energy, Cocky's Reading Express visited students at Gilbert Primary School (GPS) and shared their "Sow the Seeds of Reading" presentation! The Cocky's Reading Express™ literacy program features the Carolina mascot and USC student volunteers who travel the state in their own bus, visiting elementary schools and reading to students. Students were over-the-top excited to meet Cocky and everyone received a free copy of Melanie Walsh's book 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World and an I Promised stickerpromising Cocky that they would read every day!

 In addition to the school visit, Cocky's Reading Express will visit parents on April 30 for a family literacy night. This night will include a meal and a take-home bag of books and resources to encourage parents to read with their children. 

 This grant also provided a Tower Garden® for GPS. "Research shows that when kids grow vegetables, kids eat vegetables," according to Tower Garden® by Juice Plus With the garden, GPS can encourage healthy lifestyle habits among students. GPS will be growing much more than fruits and vegetables; they will be growing students’ math, science, language arts, and social studies skills.  This earth-friendly approach to gardening uses much less water and space than soil gardens. GPS can grow their plants year-round. This gardening system is vertical and grows plants in the air rather than soil. The sides of the tower have pockets for holding seedlings. The base of the tower holds a water-nutrient mixture. An electric pump sends water upward inside the tower. Then the water drips down onto the roots of the plants. This is called aeroponics. Along with water, the plants also need consistent light to grow well. Tower Garden® uses only 10% of the land and water used by a traditional garden.  Plants grow up to three times faster in a Tower Garden® than in a traditional garden. Tower Gardens® use the same gardening technology (aeroponics) that NASA uses. (

 CRE Visit SowtheSeeds

"The tower garden has quickly become a source of interest and excitement among our students, staff, and families.  By placing the tower garden in our main lobby, all of our stakeholder groups can observe our plants as they grow.  This has been a wonderful addition to our school and has sparked a renewed curiosity in science," principal Will Moody.