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Citizens Bank launches 2009 “Gear for Grades” program to collect school supplies in Vermont

Gear for Grades Initiative to help more than 400 children in Rhode Island and more than 20,000 across New England

Burlington, Vt.              (July 13, 2009) - Citizens Bank has launched its “Gear for Grades” program which encourages the public to donate new school supplies for Vermont children to take back to school. The program is being conducted for the second year in partnership with  99.9  The Buzz, 98.9 WOKO and KOOL 105.1  This year we are pleased to joined by Mix 98.1 WJJR in Rutland  to help the effort this year.  Donations of school supplies will be accepted at all Citizens Bank branches throughout the state from July 13 to August 1.

Citizens Bank is donating 400 backpacks to the program. The backpacks will be filled with the donated school supplies and distributed to youth programs throughout the state beginning August 9th. 

“This program has been an incredible success, enabling us to deliver backpacks filled with supplies to children in Vermont,” said Cathy Schmidt, President of Citizens Bank for Vermont.  “This is a special initiative that ensures children have the basic gear they need to learn and succeed in school.”

“We encourage our customers and the public to support Gear for Grades; while you’re out shopping for your own families, consider picking up an extra notebook or a box of crayons for a child who otherwise wouldn’t receive these basic school essentials.”

Citizens Bank is working with Hall Communications and WJJR to publicize the call for donations.

“Gear for Grades is an excellent way to help Vermont school children prepare for a successful school year,” said Dan Dubonnet, General Manager of Hall Communications. “This program is a great fit for us and we are excited to once again partner with Citizens Bank to promote this effort and encourage our listeners to participate by dropping off new school supplies. It will truly make a difference for children in need.”

Nearly 20,000 backpacks will be distributed by Citizens throughout New England as part of this year’s Gear for Grades program. 

For questions about the program, contact Brigitte Ritchie at Citizens Bank at (802) 651-4420.

About Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 76 branches and 156 ATMs in New Hampshire.

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $167 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s 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. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. It is one of the 10 largest commercial banking companies in the United States ranked by assets. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).