MANCHESTER — Citizens Bank is helping 3,000 students start the school year with new backpacks filled with school supplies through its Gear for Grades program. More than 25,500 pencils, pens, folders, notebooks, glue sticks and index cards were donated by the public in all 80 branches across New Hampshire. Gear for Grades was organized in partnership with Child and Family Services of NH, 95.7 WZID and the New Hampshire Union Leader.
According to a National Retail Federation survey, the average American family spent $688.62 in 2012 on back-to-school expenses. For low-income, at-risk or homeless families, the cost of even basic school supplies can be a burden.
"With the rising cost of school supplies, the Gear for Grades program helps to ease the financial strain parents face this time of year as they prepare to send their children back to school," said Joe Carelli, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, New Hampshire. "We are proud to play a small role in contributing to the academic success of so many local children who return to the classroom ready to learn. We thank our customers and the general public who continue to support this program by donating new school supplies that make a big difference to the children who receive them. I also want to thank Child and Family Services, WZID and the Union Leader for helping make this program a great success."
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.