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Citizens Bank launches school supply collection for students

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  July 22, 2013 03:04 PM

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Summer vacation may be in full swing for most students, but Citizens Bank is already collecting the pens, pencils, notebooks, and other supplies students will need once they return to the classroom.

Citizens Bank Monday announced the start of its annual Gear for Grades initiative that provides children with backpacks filled of school supplies for the upcoming school year.

The Citizens Bank Foundation is donating 6,600 backpacks stuffed with child-safe scissors, pencils, pens, erasers, pocket folders, spiral notebooks, crayons, washable markers, rulers, glue sticks, colored pencils, pencil boxes and index cards and customers can donate new supplies any Citizens Bank branch in Massachusetts through August 9.

“The success of our Gear for Grades program demonstrates Citizens Bank’s commitment to strengthening communities by engaging our customers, colleagues and the communities where we live and work to pitch in to support local children,” Jerry Sargent, president of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Massachusetts, said in a statement. “Helping children get geared-up and ready for the new school year is one more way that Citizens Bank is investing in the future of our Commonwealth.”

The bank’s Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities program partnered with Cradles to Crayons for this year’s initiative and on August 9 volunteers from Citizens Bank will help pack 30,000 backpacks at Cradles to Crayons’ annual Backpack-a-thon.

The filled backpacks will be distributed through Cradles to Crayons’ network of community partners and given directly to children from low-income, at-risk, and homeless families.

“There are so many children in our state whose families lack the financial resources to purchase the most essential supplies for school,” Lynn Margherio, CEO and founder of Cradles to Crayons, said in a statement. “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 Massachusetts.”

Through the Gear for Grades program, the RBS Citizens Financial Group will distribute more than 38,000 backpacks to children in communities in New England, the mid-Atlantic, and the Midwest served by their banks.

E-mail Kaiser at Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com. For more news about your city, town, neighborhood, or campus, visit boston.com’s Your Town homepage.

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