PROVIDENCE, R.I.--()--More than 37,000 students in 10 states will start the school year with supplies to help enhance their learning as part of the RBS Citizens Financial Group’s Gear for Grades program. School supplies, including more than 28 tons of pencils, pens, folders, notebooks, glue sticks and index cards were collected in more than 1,000 branches and at local community events.
“This should be an exciting time for children as they return to the classroom prepared for a year of learning. We thank our customers and the public who once again have helped us send so many children back to school knowing that the broader community cares about their academic success.”
According to a National Retail Federation survey, the average American family spent $603 in 2011 on back-to-school expenses. For low-income, at-risk or homeless families, the cost of even basic school supplies can be a burden. Started in 2003, the Gear for Grades program has sent more than 200,000 children from low-income families back to school with tools to help them learn.
“Our Gear for Grades program has helped relieve the financial burden of school supplies for thousands of families who already are stretching their monthly budgets,” said Ellen Alemany, Chairman and CEO of RBS Citizens Financial Group. “This should be an exciting time for children as they return to the classroom prepared for a year of learning. We thank our customers and the public who once again have helped us send so many children back to school knowing that the broader community cares about their academic success.”
More than 450 colleagues from Citizens Bank and Charter One volunteered to help sort through the donated school supplies. The supplies were filled in logo-free backpacks to help ensure children have a positive experience as they return to the classroom.
Backpacks were distributed to children across RBS Citizens Financial Group’s footprint where it operates as Citizens Bank in New England and the Mid-Atlantic and Charter One in the Midwest. State-by-state partnerships and results are as follows:
- Rhode Island – 14,000 backpacks in partnership with Back to School of Rhode Island, Coast to Coast Promotional Products and 92 PRO FM.
- Massachusetts – 6,600 backpacks in partnership with Cradles to Crayons.
- Connecticut – 750 backpacks in partnership with Connecticut Association of Foster and Adoptive Parents and the Urban League of Greater Hartford.
- New Hampshire – 3,000 backpacks in partnership with Child and Family Services of NH, 95.7 WZID and the New Hampshire Union Leader.
- Vermont – 400 backpacks in partnership with local Boys & Girls Clubs, COTS, and the Springfield Parent Child Center
- New York – 2,500 backpacks in partnership with local Boys & Girls Clubs, the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, the Albany Police Athletic Club and the Rochester YMCA.
- Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware - 8,050 backpacks across the tri-state region. 3,500 backpacks in partnership with Cradles to Crayons in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. 4,550 backpacks in western and central Pennsylvania in partnership with Homeless Children's Education Fund in Allegheny County and Renda Broadcasting.
- Ohio – 2,000 backpacks in partnership with Shoes and Clothes for Kids.
About RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. is a $129 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and through its subsidiaries has more than 1,400 branches, approximately 3,700 ATMs and approximately 18,940 colleagues. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. RBSCFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. RBSCFG is owned by RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.