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Charter One collecting school supplies for local children in Michigan

Gear for Grades initiative to help 2,500 children in metropolitan Detroit and more than 23,000 across the Citizens Financial Group footprint

DETROIT (July 20, 2010) - Charter One is collecting new school supplies for its Gear for Grades initiative, an effort to help local children go back to school with the gear they need to learn. New pencils, folders, glue, notebooks and other supplies can be donated at Charter One branches in the tri-county area through August 9. 

Through Gear for Grades, 2,500 children will receive new backpacks and school supplies. This year, more than 23,000 backpacks filled with new school supplies will be distributed to children across the Citizens Financial Group’s 12-state retail banking footprint.

“Many of us are fortunate enough to remember the excitement that came with going back to school – the chance to buy new school clothes, supplies, backpacks and lunch boxes,” said Sandy Pierce, President, Charter One, Michigan. “Unfortunately, thousands of local children don’t have this experience because for them, school supplies are a luxury. Charter One hopes to make going back to school a little more exciting for our region’s school children by giving them the gear they need to succeed this year.”

Charter One, in partnership with Communities in Schools Detroit, will distribute the backpacks to children in need throughout the tri-county area.

According to a National Retail Federation survey in 2009, the average family with students in grades kindergarten through 12 is expected to spend $548 on back-to-school expenses. For so many families, those costs are out of reach.

“Communities in Schools is proud to partner with Charter One on Gear for Grades and continue the type of work we do all year long: serving our children and preparing them for academic success,” said Charlie Anderson, President & CEO, Communities in Schools Detroit. “Charter One is fulfilling a need that most people take for granted. The new backpacks and school supplies will surely make the return to the classroom a more exciting time for many children this year.”

About Charter One

Charter One is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. It has approximately 370 branches and 600 ATMs. It has 108 branches and 121 ATMs in Michigan. 

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $144 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. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc).