The Daily Gamecock

Local storyteller needs more 'superheroes'

USC alumnus Darion McCloud is using the power of storytelling to reduce illiteracy rates in South Carolina. He will discuss ways students can join his cause and become "part-time superheroes" Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Leadership and Service Center.

McCloud is the founder of Story Squad, a group made up of his character, "The Captain," and six other "superheroes." The Squad aims to lower illiteracy by combining children's literature and music. McCloud describes the group as "if Parliament-Funkadelic had a baby with 'Sesame Street' and raised the baby on Marvel comics and 'Reading Rainbow.'"

The Squad came together in 2012 after McCloud had been involved in the acting and storytelling businesses for many years. He worked at Richland Library for over 10 years, at first just helping children and their parents find books to read. Over time, he became the "unofficial storyteller," and through this, he got involved in acting at the Trustus Theatre. He played his first onstage role in 1997.

McCloud was born and raised in Columbia. After a year at Fort Valley State University, a historically black university in southern Georgia, he transferred to USC and graduated with a degree in studio art.