, Derry, New Hampshire

July 25, 2013

Citizens Bank collects school supplies

Derry News

---- — As a way to help local children go back to school with the supplies they need to succeed, Citizens Bank has launched its annual Gear for Grades program.

Customers and the public are welcome to support the initiative by donating new items like pencils, folders, notebooks, rulers and other supplies at any Citizens Bank branch in New Hampshire through Aug. 9.

The Gear for Grades program is a part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, the bank’s program for contributing to the economic vitality of communities. The Citizens Bank Foundation is donating 3,000 backpacks to the Gear for Grades program. Each backpack will be filled with some of the most needed supplies including child-safe scissors, pencils, pens, erasers, pocket folders, spiral notebooks, crayons, washable markers, rulers, glue sticks, colored pencils, pencil boxes and index cards. Backpacks will be distributed to local children beginning Aug. 23.

“As a company committed to contributing to the health of our local communities, our Gear for Grades program is another way to show our customers that we care, while engaging them in our efforts to support local children,” said Joe Carelli, president, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, New Hampshire. “Helping children to feel excited and ready for the new school year is a small way that we can invest in our communities’ future. We thank everyone who will join us in supporting this year’s Gear for Grades program.”

For low-income, at-risk or homeless families, the cost of even basic school supplies can be a burden.

“There are so many children in our state whose families lack the financial resources to purchase the most essential supplies for school,” said Maria Gagnon of Child and Family Services. “Every child deserves to have the best chance for success in the classroom and our partnership with Citizens Bank and its Gear for Grades program will help to make that a reality for thousands of children in New Hampshire.”

Child and Family Services will distribute backpacks to children it serves and has identified additional youth programs across the state that will receive the filled backpacks and distribute them to children who need these supplies the most.