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Citizens Bank partners with 92 PRO-FM, Recycling for Rhode Island Education and Coast to Coast to collect school supplies for local children

Gear for Grades Initiative to help more than 12,000 children in Rhode Island and more than 20,000 across New England

Providence, R.I.  (July 13, 2009) - For the seventh consecutive year, Citizens Bank is collecting new school supplies for local children. Starting today, new pencils, pens, notebooks and other supplies can be donated at any Citizens Bank branch in the state through August 1. This year’s Gear for Grades program is supported by 92 PRO-FM, Coast to Coast Promotional Products and Recycling for Rhode Island Education.

Formerly known as Tools for School, the program has helped more than 40,000 children in Rhode Island return to school with the essential supplies they need to succeed. This year, more than 12,000 backpacks filled with new school supplies will be donated to children across the state.

“Citizens Bank is proud of the Gear for Grades program and the positive impact it has had on local school children and their parents,” said Ned Handy, President, Citizens Bank, Rhode Island. “We are pleased to partner with 92 PRO-FM, Coast to Coast, and Recycling for Rhode Island Education on this program and thank our customers and the public in advance for supporting this worthwhile cause that benefits so many children.”

Recycling for Rhode Island Education, a nonprofit educational and environmental organization, will distribute the backpacks to children throughout Rhode Island. 92 PRO-FM is encouraging its listeners to donate supplies with public service announcements. Coast to Coast is donating logistical support as well as promotional products.

“92 PRO-FM is pleased to partner with Citizens Bank on Gear for Grades,” said Tony Bristol, Operations Manager at Citadel Broadcasting. “We encourage our listeners to participate by dropping off new school supplies to help children in need.”

More than 20,000 backpacks will be distributed by Citizens Bank across New England as part of this years Gear for Grades program.
“Coast to Coast Promotional Products is proud to support this unique initiative,” said Coast to Coast Promotional Products Chief Operating Officer Kathy Ferranti. “We look forward to our continued involvement in this program that helps children succeed.”

“Recycling for RI Education is excited about our third year of collaboration in Gear for Grades with Citizens Bank,” said Kathleen Fresher-Samways, Recycling for Rhode Island Education Gear for Grades coordinator. “Thousands of children are receiving needed back-to-school supplies, and students, youth organizations and schools are learning to rethink, reduce and reuse materials from the Recycle Center in educational programs. This is such a win-win project!”

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 77 branches and 151 ATMs in Rhode Island.

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).