Citizens Bank launches annual Gear for Grades initiative to send local children back to school with new backpacks and school supplies

Donation-based program will help 3,500 children in the Greater Philadelphia region

Program has helped more than 215,000 children across the bank’s footprint since 2003

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Pictured from left Henri Moore, Sr. Vice President and Director of Public Affairs for Citizens Bank presents the donation to Michal Smith, Executive Director, Cradles to Crayons.

PHILADELPHIA – As a way to help local children go back to school with the supplies they need to succeed, Citizens Bank will launch its annual Gear for Grades program on Monday, July 22. 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 eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware from July 22 through August 9. This year’s program is again in partnership with Cradles to Crayons, marking the fourth consecutive year Citizens Bank has partnered with the West Conshohocken-based nonprofit.

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. In addition to collecting school supplies in its branches, the Citizens Bank Foundation has awarded a $30,000 grant to Cradles to Crayons to support the purchase of 3,500 backpacks and additional supplies. 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 in mid-August.

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