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Citizens Bank in Pittsburgh announces writing contest to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

PITTSBURGH (November 4, 2010) -  In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to celebrate Black History Month, Citizens Bank will sponsor the 10th annual “Expressions of Freedom” writing contest for Pittsburgh Public School students.

A total of 24 winning entries will be selected, eight each from the elementary, middle and high school levels. Winners’ names will be announced the week of December 13. A recognition event will be held at the August Wilson Center on Monday, January 17, Martin Luther King Day, and will coincide with a Free Community Day at the August Wilson Center.

“The Expressions of Freedom” writing contest is an opportunity for Citizens Bank and our partners to connect with the community in a way that is inspiring, educational and fun,” said Ralph J. Papa, Chairman of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. “We feel it is our responsibility to join others in the community to help instill in today’s youth the qualities of fairness and equality that Dr. King worked so hard to bestow upon our nation.”

Citizens Bank is again partnering with Pittsburgh Public Schools, New Pittsburgh Courier, WPXI-TV and KISS-FM to host this popular writing contest. The authors of the 24 winning entries will be awarded $100 savings bonds from Citizens Bank and a portion of their essays will be broadcast on WPXI-TV or KISS-FM throughout February in honor of Black History Month.

“Educating our young people today truly requires the assistance and support of the entire community,” said Mark Roosevelt, Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity and support of Citizens Bank and all of our sponsors. Their support will give our students the opportunity to focus on values that extend beyond the classroom.”

“On behalf of the staff and management of WPXI-TV we are honored to support this meaningful opportunity for Pittsburgh Public School students,” said WPXI-TV Vice President and General Manager Ray Carter. “The messages and values Dr. King conveyed 40 years ago still provide us a formula for overcoming the challenges and problems we, as a nation, face today. This essay contest will help our young people better understand Dr. King’s vision for equality and freedom.”

This year’s essay challenge is:
In 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered hi famous “I Have a Dream”” speech in Washington, D.C. Write a short essay that demonstrates how you and other young people can fulfill Dr. King’s dream.

Entries must be postmarked no later than December 3, 2010 and sent to Citizens Bank Writing Contest, 525 William Penn Place, Suite 2840, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Each entry must include the student’s full name, grade and school name, home address and telephone number, and teacher’s name. More information may be obtained by contacting Beth Lackner at 412-867-2455.

About Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania

Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania is a state-chartered bank with dual headquarters in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. It has 383 branches and 972 ATMs throughout Pennsylvania. It also operates 15 retail branches and 104 ATMs in southern New Jersey and a commercial loan office in Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $140 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I.

Citizens Financial Group, through its subsidiaries, has more than 1,500 branches and approximately 3,500 ATMs, and approximately 22,700 employees. 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).